José Fernando Bonaparte was an Argentinian paleontologist, specializing in prehistoric mammals, even though he is famed for his work in dinosaur paleontology.
He was born in Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina. When he was 19, José and his friends setup the "Museo Popular de Ciencias Naturales Carlos Ameghina" in the city of Mercedes. He has no formal education, but was given an honorary doctorate from the National University of Tucumán in 1976 while he was working there as the curator. In 2011, he received another honourary degree from the University of Comahue.
José Bonaparte is very influential in modern paleontology, having described twenty-five species of dinosaur, and influencing many other Argentinian paleontologists, like Rodolfo Coria.
He passed away on February 18, 2020 in the city of Mercedes.