Who Was Charles Darwin
By: Samantha DeGuida & Caroline Eddy
Birthplace and Date
Charles Darwin was an English naturalist renowned for his documentation of evolution and for his theory of its operation, known as Darwinism. His evolutionary theories, propounded chiefly in two works--On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection (1859) and The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871)--have had a profound influence on subsequent scientific thought.
Darwin was the son of Robert Waring Darwin, who had one of the largest medical practices outside of London, and the grandson of the physician Erasmus Darwin, the author of Zoonomia, or the Laws of Organic Life, and of the artisan-entrepreneur Josiah Wedgwood. Darwin thus enjoyed a secure position in the professional upper middle class that provided him with considerable social and professional advantages.