George Gustav Heye, born on 20th January 1874, is famous for collecting Native American artifacts. He was on an engineering job for railroad construction in Arizona in 1897 when he discovered his passion for Native American things, acquiring a deerskin shirt from the Apache tribe. At the beginning it was only a hobby but within the next 45 years it turned into the world's largest collection of Native American objects owned by a private person.

In 1916 he established the Museum of the American Indian in New York City and even worked there as a director until 1956.

When he died in 1957, this his collection he left the world heritage of the major part of the National Museum of the American Indian with its over one million objects, collected from indigneous tribes all over the American Continent.