Roy Chapman Andrews (January 26, 1884 – March 11, 1960) was an American explorer, adventurer, and naturalist. He did all sorts of things; sailed to the East Indies and the Arctic and China to study animals, wrote some books, and became the director of the American Museum of Natural History. But what he’s best known for, and why he is one of my childhood heroes, is leading several expeditions into the Gobi desert of Mongolia in the 1920s.
This guy was badass. And did I mention he is allegedly the real person that Indiana Jones was patterned after? The goal of the first expedition he led was to learn something about the origins of man. Instead, they found an insane amount of fossils, of both mammals and dinosaurs. Including the first fossil dinosaur eggs ever found, and Velociraptor. And they did all this with nothing but a fleet of spindly Dodges and about 150 camels. Keep in mind this was in a place where sudden rainstorms turned the ground into axle-deep mud and winds ripped their tents out of the ground. As Andrews wrote, ”I was born to be an explorer…There was never any decision to make. I couldn’t do anything else and be happy.”