Shils, Edward Albert
- Ann T. Keene
Shils, Edward Albert (1910–23 January 1995), sociologist, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. Shils was always reticent about his background. His parents' names and occupations are not in any standard biographical references. Hence no details about his family or his upbringing are known other than the year and place of his birth, that he was of Russian Jewish descent, and that he grew up in Philadelphia, where he attended high school. He related that he decided to devote his life to the study of social science after discovering, at the age of seventeen, the works of the German sociologist and historian Max Weber. After he graduated from high school, Shils enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania and earned an undergraduate degree in foreign languages in 1931....