Bestselling author and Emory University primatologist Frans de Waal—credited by many with changing our understanding of both animals and humans through his popular, groundbreaking books—died on March 14, 2024. The cause was stomach cancer. He was 75.

From his groundbreaking 1982 book Chimpanzee Politics: Power and Sex Among Apes to 2019’s Mama’s Last Hug: Animal Emotions and What They Tell Us About Ourselves, Emory officials said de Waal was a true pioneer. "It's difficult to sum up the enormity of Frans de Waal's impact, both globally and here at Emory," said Lynne Nygaard, chair of Emory's Department of Psychology, in a statement. "He demonstrated the roots of human nature in our closest living relatives through his studies of conflict resolution, reconciliation, cooperation, empathy, fairness, morality, social learning and culture in chimpanzees, bonobos and capuchin monkeys."

De Waal was the author of more than 15 books and the recipient of the PEN/EO Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, Galileo Prize, and Los Angeles Times Book Award. In 2007, he was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world.

“I had the good fortune of knowing Frans over 15 years, and edited four of his books," said W.W. Norton executive editor John Glusman, in a statement shared with PW. "From the beginning of his career he was one of the most ardent advocates, based on his empirical studies, of changing the way we think about animals, and hence, our relationship to and with them. Frans brought the natural world to the general public, highlighting not our differences from other species, but our commonalities, which made the world feel that much smaller and comprehensible. All of us at Norton will miss him terribly, but happily, we have one more book of his to publish, which he completed in his final days.”

Norton will publish de Waal's as-yet untitled new book posthumously in 2025. Glusman said the book is about "how our thinking about animals has changed over the course of half a century.”