Campbell, Joseph (author) (1904-1987), American writer, editor, and teacher, known for his writings on mythology. Campbell was educated at Columbia University. He specialized in medieval literature. He was influenced by the art of Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse, the psychological studies of Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, and the novels of James Joyce and Thomas Mann. These encounters led to Campbell's theory that all myths and epics are linked in that they are cultural manifestations of the universal need of the human psyche to explain social, cosmological, and spiritual realities.
His first original work, The Hero with a Thousand Faces, written in 1949, became a classic. In this study of the "myth of the hero," Campbell asserted that there is a single pattern of heroic journey and that all cultures share this essential pattern in their various heroic myths. In his book he also outlined the basic conditions, stages, and results of the archetypal hero's journey. Campbell's other works include the four-volume Masks of God (1959-1967), The Flight of the Wild Gander (1969), and The Mythic Image (1974).
In the mid-1980s a popular television interview series with the American journalist Bill Moyers introduced Campbell's New Age views to millions of people.