Ben Finney, American anthropologist, Died at 83

Ben Rudolph Finney was born on October 1, 1933, and died on May 23, 2017.

He was an American anthropologist.

He was known for his vast knowledge in the history and cultural and social anthropology of surfing, Polynesian navigation, and canoe sailing, and in the cultural and social anthropology of human space colonization.

As “surfing’s premier historian and leading expert on Hawaiian surfing tracing back to the 17th century” and “the intellectual mentor, driving force, and international public face” of the Hokulea project, Ben has played a key role in the Hawaiian Renaissance since his construction of the Hokulea precursor Nalehia in the 1960s and his co-founding of the Polynesian Voyaging Society in the 1970s.

He was a character in Launch Out, a Philip Robert Harris science fiction novel which is set in the year 2010, is based on Finney: a University of Hawaii professor of anthropology who is also the President of the fictional Unispace Academy.

Ben Finney passed away at 83 years old.