Coe is the Charles J. MacCurdy Professor of Anthropology, Emeritus at Yale University. He is recognized for his work in the field of the ethnohistory of Mesoamerica, the historical archaeology of northeastern United States, and writing systems. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Royal Anthropological Institute, and the Mexican Society of Anthropology. Born in New York in 1929, Coe received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1959. He began his academic career as an Assistant Professor at the University of Tennessee (1958-1960), after which he joined the Yale University faculty. Coe has authored numerous world-renowned books on Mesoamerica including Breaking the Maya Code (1992). This book constitutes an informed account of one of the most exciting adventures of our age, the extraordinary breakthrough in deciphering the inscribed remains of Mayan monuments. Coe's other works include The Maya (1966), America's First Civilization: Discovering the Olmec (1968), and The True History of Chocolate (1996).