Wilton M. Krogman


Krogman was born in 1903, in the small Illinois town of Oak Park. He was one of four children. Two of his siblings were older than him, and the fourth was a fraternal twin. The Krogman family emigrated from Germany, and first started working as carpenters. He worked with his father and brothers, and quickly gained a reputation as a man who desired perfection in his work. His father would go so far as to insist that he personally choose each piece of lumber to ensure its quality. Because of standards like this, the family even built the first house that Frank Lloyd Wright designed. Wilton's father only had a grade school education, but had a lifelong desire to learn. He often bought secondhand books on far off countries. Wilton grew up reading these books and it greatly affected his desire to know about other peoples and cultures at a young age.

Wilton even started practicing anthropology at a young age. He and his twin brother once discovered a bone in the ground, and dug out the entire skeleton of a horse, doing no damage to the bones, and showing great care to keep them in their original state. After primary school, Wilton went onto High School, even though none of his siblings, nor his father did. Because school was expensive, Wilton had several jobs. The only extracurricular club he joined was the debate club. Later in life, he would say that he gained the ability to think on his feet because of that club. His grades were almost always A's, though he slipped down once, and was helped out by a concerned teacher. He quickly got his grades back up, and was on the honor roll once more. In 1921, Wilton decided he had to move on to further his education. That September he took the entrance exams to the University of Chicago. Of the almost 500 people that took the exams, Wilton had the highest score. Originally intending to become a minister, his path quickly changed when he took a course entitled “Primitive Religion.” He dived into anthropology here, and never looked back. He became convinced that man was part of an ancient evolutionary process, rather than created. He majored in anthropology, with minors in biology and geology-paleontology.

The first job Wilton held out of school was as a lecturer at Chicago. He originally tried too hard, and was mocked by a student during a demonstration. This sobered Wilton up, and helped him change his teaching style. After several years, and several jobs in various places, Wilton returned to Chicago as an associate professor of anatomy and physical anthropology. Thus began Wilton's career as a teacher. He taught so many anthropology students during this time, a list made of his students would almost match that of all successful anthropologists of that time. He eventually moved on to the University of Pennsylvania in 1947, where he became a professor of physical anthropology in two graduate schools. In 1971 he became professor emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania. Failing health finally caused him to step down in 1983. Even then he continued to work and do studies.

He published his first work in 1941, The Growth of Man, while still at Chicago. In 1972, he published Child Growth based off his studies while a professor at Pennsylvania. He published one of his most famous works in 1986, entitled The Human Skeleton in Forensic Medicine.


http://books.nap.edu/books/0309049768/html/292.html, 1994. Biographical Memoirs V.63, The National Academic Press, 2001.

Biography.com. “Krogman, Wilton M.” Biography. 27 Nov. 2003

Robbins, Austin. “Krogman the Croc.” ChristianAnswers. 25 Nov. 2003 http://www.christiananswers.net/q-abr/abr-c003.html

Written by Christopher Nitz, 2003