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She served as curator of ethnology at the American Museum of Natural History from 1946 to 1969.She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1948.Mead received news of Sapir's remarriage while living in Samoa, where, on a beach, she later burned their correspondence.she married her first husband (1923–28) American Luther Cressman, a theology student at the time who eventually became an anthropologist.Before then, children have no social standing within the community.Mead also found that marriage is regarded as a social and economic arrangement where wealth, rank, and job skills of the husband and wife are taken into consideration.She readily acknowledged that Gregory Bateson was the husband she loved the most.She was devastated when he left her, and she remained his loving friend ever after, keeping his photograph by her bedside wherever she traveled, including beside her hospital deathbed.
Mead's findings suggested that the community ignores both boys and girls until they are about 15 or 16.
Her father, Edward Sherwood Mead, was a professor of finance at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and her mother, Emily (née Fogg) Mead, Before departing for Samoa, Mead had a short affair with the linguist Edward Sapir, a close friend of her instructor Ruth Benedict.
But Sapir's conservative ideas about marriage and the woman's role were anathema to Mead, and as Mead left to do field work in Samoa the two separated permanently.
She earned her bachelor's degree at Barnard College in New York City and her MA and Ph D degrees from Columbia University.