Joseph John Campbell (1904 – 1987) was an American mythologist, writer and lecturer, best known for his work in comparative mythology and comparative religion. His work is vast, covering many aspects of the human experience. His philosophy is often summarized by his phrase: “Follow your bliss.”
Joseph Campbell was born and raised in White Plains, New York in an upper-middle-class Irish Catholic family. His surname Campbell is Anglicized from the Irish Gaelic name MacCathmhaoil, meaning “son of battle chief”. Campbell actively practiced the faith of his forebears with its rituals, symbols, and other rich traditions until well into his twenties. As a child Campbell became fascinated with Native American culture after his father took him to the American Museum of Natural History in New York City where he saw on display featured collections of Native American artifacts.