Schmied-Kowarzik was born in 1939 in Friedberg as son of a philosopher and writer. From 1959 to 1963 he studied, amongst other subjects, ethnology in Vienna. In 1971 he became Professor for Philosophy and Pedagogy at The University Gesamthochschule Kassel. Schmied-Kowarzik is not an ethnologist himself, but he co-edited an important volume on basic issues of anthropology/ethnology (Grundfragen der Ethnologie - Beiträge zur gegenwärtigen Theorie-Diskussion. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag, 1981,1st. ed.) which became very influential in German anthropology in the 1980s and 90s.
(Photo source: http://phaidon.philo.at/asp/wschmied-kowarzik.htm)