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Richard Leakey obituary

Kenyan conservationist, politician and fossil hunter who promoted Africa as the birthplace of mankind

Richard Leakey, who has died aged 77, called his 1983 autobiography One Life, perhaps because the rest of us might have thought more than one person must have been involved in such varied activity.

He was a celebrated fossil discoverer, notably of early hominids; a museum director; a wildlife conservationist and enemy of poachers; a politician, founding his own Safina party; and an excellent fundraiser, never short of projects on which to spend the money. To many outsiders, he was the most famous Kenyan of them all. To Kenyans, he was both skilful thorn and prickly hero.

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