The article outlines the career of the renowned South African scientist Phillip Vallentine Tobias. While he made substantial contributions to a number of scientific disciplines, Tobias spent most of his career teaching anatomy at his alma mater, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, and saw himself primarily as an anatomist. The first part of this article presents Tobias' major contributions to science and demonstrates that his profound knowledge of anatomy was the basis of many of his groundbreaking research accomplishments. The second part of the article focuses on Tobias' career in anatomy and his significant contribution to anatomy teaching and administration, particularly in establishing and organizing the Anatomical Society of Southern Africa. The article also demonstrates how Tobias' academic career was constrained by the oppressive system of apartheid South Africa and how social engagement was an integral part of his intellectual activities. Clin. Anat. 2013.