Harlow, Harry Frederick
- Darryl Bruce
Harlow, Harry Frederick (31 October 1905–06 December 1981), comparative psychologist and primatologist, was born Harry Frederick Israel in Fairfield, Iowa, the son of Lon Israel, at times a merchandiser, inventor, and owner of a country store, and Mable Rock. He entered Reed College in 1923 but transferred after a year to Stanford University, where he earned a B.A. in 1927 (major in psychology) and a Ph.D. in 1930 (specialization in comparative psychology). In the anti-Semitic climate of the day, the name of Israel was making it difficult for Stanford faculty advisers to place him in an academic position. They recommended that he change his surname, and so in 1930, shortly before receiving his Ph.D., he legally became Harry Harlow. He accepted a faculty appointment at the University of Wisconsin that same year. Upon assuming the position, he was thwarted in conducting research using rats because the psychology department’s animal laboratory had been torn down during the summer before his arrival. He therefore turned to studying primates at the local zoo and thence began his career as a primatologist. He remained at Wisconsin until his retirement in 1974, except for leaves of absence in 1939–1940 as Carnegie fellow in anthropology at Columbia University and in 1950–1952 as head of the Human Resources Research Branch of the Department of the Army. From 1974 to the time of his death he was a visiting scholar at the University of Arizona. Harlow was thrice married: to Clara Mears from 1932 until their divorce in 1946, to Margaret Kuenne from 1948 until her death in 1971, and again to his first wife, Clara, in 1972. There were two children from each of the first two marriages....