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Claude Levi-Strauss dead at 100

PARIS, Nov. 3 (UPI) -- Claude Levi-Strauss, an anthropologist and one of the great French intellectuals of the 20th century, has died. He was 100.

The Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales said Levi-Strauss died Saturday night or early Sunday, Le Monde reported. The university did not cite a cause of death.

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The son of an artist, Levi-Strauss grew up in Paris and graduated from the Sorbonne with a degree in philosophy. In 1935, he joined a French cultural mission to Brazil where he lived for four years, teaching at the University of Sao Paulo and doing ethnographic studies that would become the basis of his life's work.

Levi-Strauss was dismissed from a teaching job in Montpellier in 1941 because of his Jewish ancestry and made his way, by a circuitous route, to New York, where he spent the war years teaching at the New School for Social Research. With Jacques Maritain and other exiles, he founded the Ecole Libre des Hautes Etudes.

His best-known book, "Tristes Tropiques," was published in 1956. In that work, Levi-Strauss argued there is little difference between advanced and primitive societies, which he dubbed "societies without writing," The Washington Post said.

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In 1958, he published "Structural Anthropology" while the four volumes of "Mythologiques" came out from 1964 to 1971.

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