George Charles Engerrand, professor of anthropology at the University of Texas, was born on August 11, 1877, near Bordeaux, France, of French-Basque ancestry. He received his early education from private tutors, and at the age of eighteen he enrolled at the University of Bordeaux, where he received a licentiate in geology (1897) and a licentiate in botany (1898). At Bordeaux he was a student of the famed pioneer sociologist Émile Durkheim. In 1898 he went to Brussels, Belgium, where he had been invited to teach by the geographer Élisée Reclus. Between 1898 and 1907 Engerrand held numerous research and teaching positions, some of them concurrently, at several Belgian institutions.
From 1907 until the political revolution in 1917 made it impossible to continue, Engerrand lived in Mexico and was, for most of this period, professor of archeology in the Museo Nacional de Arqueología, Historia, y Etnología. He moved to Mississippi, where he taught geology until 1920, then to Austin, Texas, where he became adjunct professor of anthropology at the University of Texas. For the next forty-one years, until his retirement in 1961, Engerrand was a member of the UT anthropology department, from which he received a Ph.D. in 1935.
He wrote seventy-five articles and several books. He received many academic honors, including La Croix de Chevalier de l'Ordre des Palmes, a French decoration given for distinguished teaching and scholarly publication. In 1898 Engerrand married Alice Delsaute, from whom he separated in 1902; two sons were born of this marriage. In 1904 he married Jeanne Richard, and they had one son and two daughters. Engerrand died in Mexico City on September 2, 1961, and was buried in Austin.