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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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Boudin, Louis Boudinoff (15 February 1874–29 May 1952), political theorist and lawyer, was born Louis Boudinoff in the Ukraine, the son of Peter Boudinoff, a merchant, and Frone Feld. Louis Boudinoff emigrated in 1891 to New York, where he adopted a shortened form of his family name as a surname. He began legal studies at New York University, supporting himself with part-time work as a shoemaker, journalist, and tutor. He earned an LL.B. in 1896 and an LL.M. in 1897. He became a naturalized citizen in 1897 and was admitted to the New York bar in 1898. The next year he married Leah Kanefsky; they had two children. Leah died in 1906, and in 1909 Boudin married Anna Pavitt, a dentist....

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Burdick, Eugene Leonard (12 Dec. 1918–26 July 1965), novelist and political scientist, was born in Sheldon, Iowa, to John J. Burdick, an Irish immigrant house painter, and Marie Ellerbroek Burdick. His father died when he was four, and two years later his mother, of Dutch descent, married Fritz Gaillard, an émigré cellist from the Netherlands. The family moved to Los Angeles, where Gaillard played with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. From childhood onward, Burdick excelled in both academics and sports. After attending classes at Santa Monica and Santa Barbara junior colleges, he enrolled as a scholarship student at Stanford University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in psychology in ...

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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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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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Gilpin, William (04 October 1815–19 January 1894), geopolitician, soldier, and land speculator, was born in New Castle County, Delaware, the son of Joshua Gilpin, a manufacturer of fine paper, and Mary Dilworth. He was educated at home until age thirteen, when he was sent to Settle, England, for preparatory school. Two years later he returned home, and after an examination, he was admitted to the University of Pennsylvania as a junior. He received his A.B. in 1833 at the age of eighteen....

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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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Kendall, Willmoore (05 March 1909–30 June 1967), political scientist and journalist, was born in Konawa, Oklahoma, the son of Willmoore Kendall, a blind Methodist minister and author, and Pearl Anna Garlick. During his boyhood, spent in a succession of Methodist parsonages and small-town elementary schools, Kendall served as his father’s eyes. The intense, ambivalent relationship with his father led to an intellectually precocious upbringing as well as changeable interests that would characterize his life. At thirteen he graduated from the Mangum, Oklahoma, high school. He attended Northwestern University and the University of Tulsa before transferring to the University of Oklahoma, where he received his B.A. in 1927. While still a teenager, Kendall ran away from home to New Orleans with the intention of going to South America. He reached New Orleans, but his plan failed. He then returned to Northwestern University, where in 1928 he received an M.A. degree in Romance languages. His thesis was a study of Spanish short-story writer and novelist Pío Baroja y Nessi....

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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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Lasswell, Harold Dwight (13 February 1902–18 December 1978), political scientist, was born in Donnellson, Illinois, the son of Linden Downey Lasswell, a Presbyterian minister, and Anna Prather, a schoolteacher. Raised in an intellectual household, Lasswell was a precocious student who read the works of Sigmund Freud at the age of fourteen, graduated from the Decatur, Illinois, high school as valedictorian at the age of sixteen, and won a competitive scholarship in history to the University of Chicago. He received his bachelor’s degree in philosophy and economics in 1922 and immediately became a graduate student and teaching assistant in the political science department at Chicago. Recipient of several Social Science Research Council fellowships, Lasswell studied at the universities of London, Geneva, and Berlin between 1923 and 1925. After receiving his Ph.D. in 1926, Lasswell became an assistant professor of political science at Chicago, where he remained until 1938....

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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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Mason, Alpheus Thomas (18 September 1899–31 October 1989), political scientist, biographer, and author, was born at Snow Hill on Maryland’s eastern shore, the son of Herbert William Mason and Emma Leslie Hancock, farmers. Although lacking in formal training, Mason’s father was a student of life and politics and pressed education on his son. In particular, he pushed his son to excel as a public speaker and helped him to win several oratorical prizes in school. Mason’s mother had a lasting influence on her son. Although she only finished seventh grade, like his father, she was a first-rate teacher and a perfectionist through and through. She instilled in her son the idea that nothing was “good enough” until it reached the acme of perfection. Her persistence and perfectionism were traits that her son inherited and admired....

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Merriam, Charles E. (15 November 1874–08 January 1953), political scientist, was born in Hopkinton, Iowa, the son of Charles Edward Merriam, a merchant and postmaster, and Margaret Campbell Kirkwood, a schoolteacher. Charles Edward Merriam, Jr., was raised in a home and community devoted to Presbyterianism and Republican politics. Charles Merriam, Sr., desired a career in law and politics for his son, but after preparing for law school at Lenox College in Hopkinton and the State University of Iowa (B.A., 1895), “Ed” decided to pursue his interest in the emerging field of political science. Enrolling at Columbia University in 1897, he studied under ...

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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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Neumann, Franz Leopold (23 May 1900–02 September 1954), lawyer and political theorist, was born in Kattowitz, Upper Silesia (later Katowice, Poland), the son of Josef Neumann, a salesman of leather goods, and Gertrud Gutherz. Neumann served in the German army during World War I. In late 1918 and early 1919 he was a member of the radical soldiers council during the period of the unsuccessful Spartacist Revolution. After the war he studied at the Universities of Breslau, Leipzig, Rostock and Frankfurt am Main. At Frankfurt he was a student of the distinguished jurist Hugo Sinzheimer. Neumann received his law degree in 1923 and was accepted as a member of the Berlin bar in 1927....