John J. Teal, Jr. was born on February 7, 1921 in New York City. He graduated from Harvard College with a BA in anthropology and held a master's degree in international relations from Yale University. During World War II, Teal served as a captain and active command pilot with a bomber group in Britain. After the war, he spent three years with the Lapps in northern Norway to study the social and economic ways of their reindeer husbandry. In 1954, he founded the Institute of Northern Agricultural Research to capture, domesticate and breed musk ox as an economic resource for impoverished Eskimos and other natives in the Arctic. In order to do so, Teal established stations in Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Norway. His work was sponsored by the Arctic Institute of North America at McGill University and was aided by grants from the Carnegie Foundation. He also received support from the governments of Quebec and Canada. Teal died on August 31, 1982.