She was launched to fame by National Geographic, whose stories about her life in an African forest with chimpanzees made her an iconic figure.
Goodall was the first to discover that wild chimpanzees were capable of making and using tools, a revelation that turned the scientific world upside down by challenging the convention that tool making was what made humans unique.
Fifty years later, Goodall considers her role now to be more important than ever - which is why "60 Minutes" and correspondent Lara Logan wanted to go back with her to Africa.
Lara Logan talks about her profile of Jane Goodall and how she and producer Max McClellan hit the "chimp jackpot" on their trip to Tanzania.
Extra: Lara Logan Facebook Chat
Extra: Why Goodall Went to Africa
Extra: Goodall on Motherhood
Extra: Goodall, A Girl in Africa
Extra: Goodall's Global Efforts
Link: The Jane Goodall Institute
Link: Roots & Shoots
Link: National Geographic Jane Goodall Retrospective
Goodall and the "60 Minutes" team headed to the Gombe Forest; the only way to get there is by boat.
"The hills there, you know, which are like a desert now? When I arrived in 1960, in July, those hills were forest," Goodall observed during the boat ride.
We traveled with her across Lake Tanganyika, the longest lake in the world, and then into the forest which Goodall called home for decades.
She first came to Tanzania, to a stretch of tropical forest on the remote eastern shores of the lake, to study chimpanzees when she was 26 years old. She was a young girl from England with no scientific training - just a notebook and binoculars.
"How would you describe what it was like 50 years ago?" Logan asked Goodall.
"It was a kind of magical place where I never knew each day what I might see or discover," she replied.
We followed the forest trails for hours through the towering trees and tangled vines searching for Goodall's chimpanzees. Then, the chimps' unmistakable sound led us right to them.
Goodall instantly recognized her favorite family, three generations right there in front us. She has followed this family for 50 years and gave them the names they're still known by today.
Asked what she loves about them, Goodall said, "Just everything."
There was little "Google," at nearly two years old one of the youngest there. There was also Google's mother "Gaia," who Jane has known for 17 years.
His grandmother "Gremlin," Goodall says, is one of the oldest and most gentle chimps in the forest. She has known her since she was born in 1970.
They also spotted 12-year-old "Glitter," Google's aunt.
Today, the chimps are so used to humans they don't mind getting close.
But since it's now known that chimps can catch our infectious diseases, we had to keep a safe distance.
When Goodall arrived in the forest in 1960, she had the opposite problem.
At first, the chimps didn't want to come near her. "First they were afraid. Then they became belligerent. And then when I wouldn't go away, well, 'I guess she's ok.' They came to trust," she recalled.