Pacific Islands Development Program/East-West Center
With Support From Center for Pacific Islands Studies/University of Hawai‘i

Dr. Jack Tobin devoted life to Marshall Islands

By Robert Kiste

Dr. Jack A. Tobin, a veteran of the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, passed away on Friday, June 18 in Honolulu.

Tobin served in the U.S. Navy in the Pacific during the war. After the war, he was a student in anthropology at the University of Hawaii. His advisor at the university was Dr. Leonard Mason, well known Pacific specialist on Micronesia with a special interest in the Marshall Islands.

Tobin accompanied Mason on a research trip to Arno Atoll in the Marshalls in the early 1950s. Shortly thereafter, Tobin became the district anthropologist for the Marshall Islands, and he spent many years in the Marshalls.

Tobin completed a PhD in anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley. He later returned to the Marshalls as a Community Development Officer.

Tobin devoted most of his professional life to the people of the Marshall Islands.

Upon retirement, he was a resident of Honolulu for several decades. He is well remembered by many friends and colleagues in the Marshalls and the anthropological profession.

His best known work was the book "Stories from the Marshall Islands, published in 2002 by the University of Hawaii Press.

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