Joy Adamson (January 20, 1910 - January 3, 1980) was a naturalist, best known as the author and main character of the book, Born Free, which described her experiences in saving the life of a lioness, Elsa.
She was born Joy Friedericke Victoria Gessner in Opava, Czech Republic (then part of Austria-Hungary). With her third husband, George Adamson, she made her home in Kenya. She studied and painted animals in the wild, and became famous as a result of the publication of Born Free in 1960. Several sequels were also published. She later separated from her husband, and was living alone when murdered by natives.