Leopold Jaroslav Pospisil was born in Olomouc, Czechoslovakia in 1923 and received his undergraduate education in that city before moving to Prague to obtain a degree in law. After a year of studying philosophy in Germany, he immigrated to the United States where his interest in the social sciences led him to complete a second undergraduate degree in Sociology at Willamette University and a Master’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Oregon. Finally, in 1952 he arrived at Yale University where he obtained a Ph.D. in Anthropology four years later.
Leopold Pospisil served as SVU President in the years 1980-1984. In 1988, he received the SVU Honorary Membership.