Katherine Mary Dunham (June 22, 1909 – May 21, 2006) was born in Chicago, Illinois. She was an American dancer, choreographer, creator of the Dunham Technique, author, educator, anthropologist, and social activist. Dunham had one of the most successful dance careers in African-American and European theater of the 20th century, and directed her own dance company for many years. She has been called the "matriarch and queen mother of black dance." Over her long career, she choreographed more than ninety individual dances. Dunham was an innovator in African-American modern dance, as well as a leader in the field of dance anthropology, or ethnochoreology. She also developed the Dunham Technique, a method of movement to support her dance works.