Professor Dr. em. Peter Fuchs was born in 1928 in Vienna, Austria, where he also spent most of his childhood and youth. His father worked as a teacher and eventually started a publishing house. Professor Fuchs had an early interest in literature and the fine arts. After finishing school in 1947, he first studied German Literature and Anglistics for a short time, while also doing an apprenticeship as a publisher and experimenting with several further fields of profession, for instance, in the film scene. Eventually, he changed his course of studies and took up Philosophy, Anthropology and African Languages at the University of Vienna. In 1952, he went on a self-organized research trip to the Tuareg in Central Sahara.
After his return to Vienna, Fuchs received his PhD degree in 1954. Over the following ten years he conducted further research projects in Africa and worked as a freelance writer and anthropologist. In 1964, he took up an assistant position at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology in Göttingen, where he published his habilitation thesis in 1968. In 1978, he became full professor at the Institute for Social and Cultural Anthropology in Göttingen. He retired in 1994. His research interests include the study of cultures in extreme climate conditions as well as Visual Anthropology.