Bascom, William Russel
- Rosemary Lévy Zumwalt
Bascom, William Russel (23 May 1912–11 September 1981), anthropologist and folklorist, was born in Princeton, Illinois, the son of George Rockwell Bascom, an engineer, and Litta Celia Banschbach. His father died when William was thirteen, and his mother then worked as a librarian at the Wisconsin State Historical Library in Madison to support her two children and her invalid mother. Bascom earned his B.A. in physics at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1933 and continued postgraduate work in this subject at the same institution the following year. Bascom’s summer employment in 1934 on an archaeological excavation reflected his shift of interest from physics to anthropology. He received an M.A. in anthropology from the University of Wisconsin in 1936. His master’s thesis, “The Role of the Medicine Man in Kiowa Culture,” written under the guidance of ...