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Adorno, Theodor (11 September 1903–06 August 1969), social and political theorist, aesthetician, and atonalist musical composer, was born Theodor Ludwig Wiesengrund in Frankfurt, Germany, the son of Oskar Wiesengrund, a wealthy wine merchant, and Maria Calvelli-Adorno, a professional singer of Corsican and Genoese origin. He adopted his mother’s maiden name when his scholarly writing began to appear in 1938, perhaps reflecting his close attachment to her rather than to his remote father. His mother had borne her only child at age thirty-seven and lavished attention and resources on him, particularly with regard to “high” culture. His schooling included piano and composition training at a professional level (one teacher was Alban Berg) and philosophy with Edmund Husserl....

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Beard, Charles Austin (27 November 1874–01 September 1948), political scientist, historian, and pundit, was born near Knightstown, Indiana, the son of William Henry Beard, a farmer and banker, and Mary Payne. The family was of a Quaker heritage, and Charles attended a local Quaker academy before going on to DePauw University, from which he graduated in 1898. At DePauw his teachers introduced him to modern social theorists, including Herbert Spencer, Karl Marx, ...

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Bentley, Arthur Fisher (16 October 1870–21 May 1957), sociologist, political scientist, and philosopher, was born in Freeport, Illinois, the son of Angeline Alice Fisher and Charles Frederick Bentley, a banker. The family moved to Omaha and then to Grand Island, Nebraska. Bentley briefly attended both York College, Nebraska, and the University of Denver, Colorado, before returning to Grand Island to work in his father’s bank. In 1890 Bentley entered Johns Hopkins University to study economics and sociology. He returned again to Grand Island and, with his father, collected economic and agricultural data on the community of Harrison, Nebraska. Bentley received an A.B. in 1892. His undergraduate thesis, “The Condition of the Western Farmer as Illustrated by the Economic History of a Nebraska Township,” was published the next year in the ...

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Blum, Virgil Clarence (27 March 1913–05 April 1993), educator, author, activist, and clergyman, was born in Defiance, Iowa, one of twelve children of John Peter and Elizabeth (Rushenberg) Blum, both farmers. His grade school and high school years were spent at St. Peter's school in Defiance. In 1932 he began college at Dowling College, Des Moines, Iowa, and the next year transferred to Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. On 31 Aug. 1934 he entered the Society of Jesus at St. Stanislaus Seminary at Florissant, Missouri, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Latin and English in 1938. (A brother, Victor Joseph, also became a Jesuit and became a professor of geophysics and seismology at St. Louis University). Virgil studied philosophy at St. Louis University in St. Louis, Missouri, continuing studies in the summer until he earned a master's degree in history and political science in 1945....

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Burgess, John William (26 August 1844–13 January 1931), political theorist, historian, and university dean, was born in Cornersville, Giles County, Tennessee, the son of Thomas T. Burgess, a planter, and Mary Judith Edwards. He was a descendant of Thomas Burgess, who landed in Massachusetts in 1630. Raised in Tennessee in a slaveholding, pro-Union southern Whig family, Burgess became interested in politics early in life upon hearing the orations and debates of ...

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Dunning, William Archibald (12 May 1857–25 August 1922), historian and political scientist, was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, the son of John H. Dunning, a successful carriage manufacturer, and Catherine D. Trelease. John Dunning, a painter and connoisseur of art as well as a businessman, inspired his son’s love of learning and began himself to study classical Greek at the age of seventy-eight. The young William, known for his wit and wry sense of humor in his later career, was in constant disciplinary trouble and was expelled from Dartmouth in 1877 for his participation in pranks. He entered Columbia College in 1878, received his B.A. in 1881, M.A. in 1884, and Ph.D. in 1885. After a year abroad studying under Heinrich von Treitschke in Berlin, Dunning returned to Columbia, where he quickly moved up the academic ladder to full professor. In 1904 he received an LL.D. from Columbia, and he became, probably in 1903, the Francis Lieber Professor of History and Political Philosophy, a position he held until his death. He married Charlotte E. Loomis in 1888; they had no children....

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Fainsod, Merle (02 May 1907–11 February 1972), political scientist and educator, was born in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, the son of Louis Fainsod and Frieda Marcus, shopkeepers. After Fainsod’s father died in 1920 the family moved to St. Louis, Missouri. Fainsod graduated from Washington University in St. Louis in 1928 with a degree in political science, and two years later received a master’s degree in the same field. He then went to Harvard University, where he received his Ph.D. in 1932, completing his doctorate in only two years; his dissertation was revised and published as ...

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Follett, Mary Parker (03 September 1868–18 December 1933), theorist of social organization and civic leader, was born in Quincy, Massachusetts, the daughter of Charles Allen Follett and Elizabeth Curtis Baxter. Follett’s father attempted a variety of jobs and her mother took in boarders before the family finally moved in with Follett’s wealthy maternal grandfather. In 1888 Follett enrolled at the Harvard Annex, the precursor of Radcliffe College, and graduated summa cum laude in 1898. During this ten-year period she also spent a year at Newnham College, Cambridge University, and worked for a few years as a schoolteacher at Mrs. Shaw’s School in Boston. Follett’s perceptiveness as an observer of social and political phenomena was evident even before her college graduation when Longmans, Green published her book ...

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Freund, Ernst (30 January 1864–20 October 1932), professor of law and political science, was born in New York City, the son of Ludwig A. Freund and Nannie Bayer. His parents were natives of Berlin, Germany; before 1875 they returned to that city, and Freund was educated there. He was awarded a doctorate (J.U.D.) in canon and civil law at Heidelberg in 1884, and in that year he elected to return to New York as a native citizen. There he studied law and politics at Columbia University, where his mentor was ...

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Hartz, Louis (07 April 1919–20 January 1986), political scientist and historian, was born in Youngstown, Ohio, the son of Russian Jewish immigrants Max Hartz and Fannie Plotkin Hartz. Shortly after his birth, the family, which included two older boys, moved to Omaha, Nebraska, where his father ran a grocery. In 1936 with the help of a scholarship from a local newspaper, Louis entered Harvard. After compiling a brilliant record as an undergraduate and graduate student, earning an S.B. in 1940 and a Ph.D. in 1946, he joined the Harvard faculty, winning tenure at the early age of thirty-one, and rapidly made a name for himself as an enormously popular and effective teacher and an outstanding scholar with a national and international reputation. On 3 July 1943 he married Stella Feinberg; they had a son....

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Inman, Mary (11 June 1894–Jan. 1985), trade union organizer, Marxist theorist, and author, was born Ida Mary Inman in Burnside, Kentucky, and moved to Creek Nation Indian Territory in Oklahoma when she was six. She was the fourth daughter and youngest of Mildred Taylor Inman and James Jett Inman’s nine children. Her mother died when Inman was eleven, her oldest sister died two years later, and she spent the next decade caring for her father and brothers....

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Kahn, Herman (15 February 1922–07 July 1983), civilian military strategist and futurologist, was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, the son of Abraham Kahn, a tailor, and Yetta Koslowsky. His Polish Jewish parents divorced when he was ten years old, and Kahn and his two brothers moved to Los Angeles with their mother. The family remained poor, and Kahn worked throughout his school and college years. His youthful experience in his aunt’s grocery had a lasting impact, shaping his ideas about economic decision making. In 1940 he enrolled at the University of Southern California and then transferred to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) with a major in physics. He enlisted in the army in May 1943....

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Key, V. O. (13 March 1908–04 October 1963), political scientist, was born Valdimer Orlando Key, Jr., in Austin, Texas, to Valdimer Orlando Key, a lawyer and farmer, and Olive Terry. Key spent his early years in Lamesa in West Texas, where his father was active in local politics. Later Key claimed that time spent hanging around the courthouse square had helped shape his political sensitivities and ability to comprehend politics. From 1925 to 1927 he attended MacMurry College in Abilene and finished his undergraduate studies at the University of Texas, where he also started his graduate work (A.B., 1929; M.A., 1930). Key earned his Ph.D. at the University of Chicago (1934), having written his dissertation under ...

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Lieber, Francis (18 Mar. 1798 or 1800–02 October 1872), educator and political writer, was born in Berlin, Germany, the son of Friedrich Wilhelm Lieber, an iron merchant. (His mother’s name is not known.) Raised in a large middle-class family of nationalistic sentiments, Lieber witnessed the conquering of Berlin by Napoleon in 1806. He fought in the Colberg militia and was wounded in the Waterloo campaign in 1815. An adherent of the educator Friedrich Ludwig Jahn, active in secret patriotic societies, and (falsely?) implicated in the assassination of August von Kotzebue, Lieber was spied on and twice imprisoned by the police. He received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Jena in 1820 and also studied at Halle, Dresden, and Berlin. Under the influence of Barthold Niebuhr, Friedrich E. D. Schleiermacher, and Alexander von Humboldt, he was drawn mainly to the study of politics, law, and history. Fearing further persecution, in 1826 he left Germany for England where, as a tutor, he met his future wife, Mathilda Oppenheimer. In 1827 he emigrated to the United States. He married Mathilda in 1829 and became a naturalized citizen three years later....

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Moley, Raymond (27 September 1886–18 February 1975), professor of public law and presidential adviser, was born in Berea, Ohio, the son of Felix James Moley, proprietor of a “gent’s furnishings” store, and Agnes Fairchild. With the onset of the 1893 depression, the family moved to the nearby hamlet of Olmsted Falls. After graduating from Cleveland’s Baldwin-Wallace College (B. Phil., 1906), he became a teacher and superintendent of schools at Olmsted Falls (1906–1910). Stricken by tuberculosis in 1909, Moley sought a cure by moving to New Mexico and Colorado. Upon his return to Ohio in 1912, he pursued an M.A. in political science at Oberlin College (1913) while teaching at West High School in Cleveland. He then earned a Ph.D. at Columbia University (1918) while serving as instructor and then assistant professor at Western Reserve University (1916–1919). Moley married Eva Dall in 1916; they had two sons. In 1946, after divorcing Eva, he married Frances S. Hebard, with whom he had one daughter....

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Ogg, Frederic Austin (08 February 1878–23 October 1951), historian and political scientist, was born in Solsberry, Indiana, the son of William R. Ogg and Sarah S. Law, farmers. The family later moved to Greencastle, Indiana, so that Ogg could attend college at DePauw University. He graduated in 1899 and earned a master’s degree from Indiana University in 1900. Ogg began his teaching career in Indianapolis at the Manual Training High School. He married Emma Virginia Perry in 1903; they had no children. He completed his thesis, “Slave Property as an Issue in Anglo-American Diplomacy, 1782–1828,” and received a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University in 1908....

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Walsh, Edmund Aloysius (10 October 1885–31 October 1956), Roman Catholic priest, educator, and author, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of John Francis Walsh, a policeman, and Catherine Noonan. His elementary education was in the city’s public schools and his secondary education in the preparatory division of Boston College. In 1902 he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Frederick, Maryland. After a decade of humanistic studies and teaching, Walsh pursued private studies in Dublin, Ireland, and London, England, during the academic year of 1912–1913. Sent to Innsbruck, Austria, in the fall of 1913 to begin theological studies, he returned to the United States after the outbreak of World War I to complete his theological work at Woodstock College in Maryland, where he was ordained by Cardinal ...

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White, Leonard Dupee (17 January 1891–23 February 1958), political scientist and historian, was born in Acton, Massachusetts, the son of John Sidney White, a farmer, and Bertha H. Dupee. After receiving a B.S. in 1914 and an M.A. in 1915 from Dartmouth College, White enrolled in the doctoral program in political science at the University of Chicago and from 1915 to 1918 taught government at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts. In 1916 he married Una Lucille Holden, with whom he had one child. White returned to Dartmouth in 1918 as an instructor of political science before accepting an appointment at the University of Chicago in 1920. He received his Ph.D. the following year and was promoted to full professor in 1925....

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Wildavsky, Aaron Bernard (31 May 1930–04 September 1993), college professor and administrator, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of Sender Wildavsky, a bookbinder and apartment manager, and Eva Brudnow. Both parents emigrated from the Ukraine as young adults.

At Brooklyn’s Public School 89 and Erasmus Hall High School, Wildavsky had a modest academic record, but at Brooklyn College, where his college work was interrupted by service in the U.S. Army from 1950 to 1952, he blossomed in the classroom, graduating Phi Beta Kappa. A Fulbright scholar at the University of Sydney in Australia (1954–1955), he earned the M.A. (1957), followed by a Ph.D. (1959) at Yale, which was developing a reputation as an outstanding graduate program in political science....