Marc J. Swartz was an American political and cultural anthropologist with areal specialization in eastern Africa.
Born in Omaha, Nebraska, Swartz trained in anthropology in the interdisciplinary Department of Social Relations at Harvard, receiving his PhD in 1958.
He was a founding member of the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, San Diego, where he served as a member of the faculty for 36 years. During his career, Swartz was a founding member of the Society for Cultural Anthropology, former chairman of the American Society for Political Anthropology, a life member of the American Anthropological Association, a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute and a member of the National Geographic Research board of editors.
Swartz conducted extensive field research among indigenous peoples in highland Tanzania, in Kenya