Du Chaillu, Paul Belloni (1831–1903), a French-American explorer. His observations in Explorations and Adventures in Equatorial Africa (1861) were ridiculed and disputed by some scientists, but were later confirmed by travelers. In 1860 he brought to the United States the first gorilla ever seen here. He was the first white man to bring back information about pygmies in the remote interior of Africa.
Du Chaillu was born in Paris. Much of his youth was spent in the Gabon country on the west coast of Africa, where his father was a trader. In 1852 he came to the United States, and eventually became a citizen. The Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences in 1856 sent him on a four-year expedition into Central Africa. He journeyed about 8,000 miles (13,000 km), and collected many rare birds and animals. On a second trip (1863–65) he made additional discoveries. Du Chaillu traveled in the Scandinavian countries (1872–73). He died in Russia.
His books include: A Journey to Ashango Land (1867); Stories of the Gorilla Country (1868); The Country of the Dwarfs (1870); The Viking Age (2 volumes, 1889); and The Land of the Great Forest (1900).