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Roy Chapman Andrews (January 26, 1884 – March 11, 1960) was an American explorer, adventurer and naturalist who became the director of the American Museum of Natural History. He is primarily known for leading a series of expeditions through the fragmented China of the early 20th century into the Gobi Desert and Mongolia. The expeditions made important discoveries and brought the first-known fossil dinosaur eggs to the museum.
From 1909 to 1910, Andrews sailed on the USS Albatross to the East Indies, collecting snakes and lizards and observing marine mammals. In 1913, he sailed aboard the schooner Adventuress with owner John Borden to the Arctic. They were hoping to bag a bowhead whale specimen for the American Museum of Natural History. On this expedition, he filmed some of the best footage of seals ever seen, but they never got a whale.
He married Yvette Borup in 1914. From 1916 to 1917, Andrews and his wife led the Asiatic Zoological Expedition of the museum through much of western and southern Yunnan, as well as other provinces of China. The book Camps and Trails in China records their experiences.
In 1920, Andrews began planning for expeditions to Mongolia and drove a fleet of Dodge cars westward from Peking. In 1922, the party discovered a fossil of Indricotherium (then named “Baluchitherium“), a gigantic hornless rhinoceros, which was sent back to the museum, arriving on December 19. In the 1920s, he went to Mongolia, hoping to find out something about the origin of man. He didn’t find out anything about man, but he discovered a treasure trove of dinosaur bones. During four expeditions in the Gobi Desert between 1922 and 1925, he discovered Protoceratops, a nest of Protoceratops eggs (later studies revealed them to be Oviraptor eggs), Pinacosaurus, Saurornithoides, Oviraptor and Velociraptor, none of which were known before.
On July 13, 1923, the party was the first in the world to discover dinosaur eggs. Initially thought to belong to the ceratopsian Protoceratops, they were determined in 1995 to actually belong to the theropod Oviraptor . Walter W. Granger discovered a skull from the Cretaceous period. In 1925, the museum sent a letter back informing the party that the skull was that of a mammal, and therefore rare and valuable; more were uncovered. Expeditions in the area stopped during 1926 and 1927. In 1928, the expedition’s finds were seized by Chinese authorities but were eventually returned. The 1929 expedition was cancelled. In 1930, he made one final trip and discovered some mastodon fossils.
- Andrews is allegedly the real person that the movie character of Indiana Jones was patterned after. Andrews was an accomplished stage master. He created an image and lived it out impeccably—there was no chink in his armor. Roy Chapman Andrews: famous explorer, dinosaur hunter, exemplar of Anglo-Saxon virtues, crack shot, fighter of Mongolian brigands, the man who created the metaphor of ‘Outer Mongolia’ as denoting any exceedingly remote place.
Although many sources claim that Andrews was the inspiration for Indiana Jones, neither George Lucas nor the other creators of the films have ever confirmed this. The 120-page transcript of the story conferences for the movie does not mention Andrews.  An analysis by the Smithsonian Channel concludes that the linkage was indirect, with Andrews (and other explorers) serving as the model for heroes in adventure films of the 1940s and 1950s, who in turn inspired Lucas and his fellow writers.
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