Based primarily on lists in The World Almanac
Thomas (Tom) Paine, 1737-1809, political theorist, writer. Common Sense.
Jared Sparks, 1789-1866, historian, educator, editor; The Library of American Biography.
William Prescott, 1796-1859, early American historian; The Conquest of Peru.
George Bancroft, 1800-91, historian; wrote 10-volume History of the United States.
Francis Parkman, 1823-93, historian; France and England in North America, 1851-92.
Henry Adams, 1838-1918, historian; History of the United States of America, The Education of Henry Adams.
John Fiske, 1842-1901, historian and lecturer; popularized Darwinian theory of evolution.
Brooks Adams, 1848-1927, historian, political theoretician; The Law of Civilization and Decay.
Edward Channing, 1856-1931, historian; wrote 6-volume History of the United States.
Franz Boas, 1858-1942, German-born anthropologist; studied American Indians.
Frederick J. Turner, 1861-1932, historian, educator; The Frontier in American History.
George H. Mead, 1863-1931, philosopher, social psychologist.
James H. Robinson, 1863-1936, historian, educator.
Francis E. Townsend, 1867-1960, led old-age pension movement, 1933.
Charles A. Beard, 1874-1948, historian; The Economic Basis of Politics.
Alfred L. Kroeber, 1876-1960, cultural anthropologist; studied Indians of North and South America.
Edward Sapir, 1884-1939, German-born anthropologist; studied ethnology and linguistics of some U.S. Indian groups.
Van Wyck Brooks, 1886-1963, historian; critic of New England culture, especially literature.
Ruth Benedict, 1887-1948, anthropologist; studied Indian tribes of the Southwest.
Leonard Bloomfield, 1887-1949, linguist; Language.
Samuel Eliot Morison, 1887-1976, historian; chronicled voyages of early explorers.
Walter P. Webb, 1888-1963, historian of the West.
Kurt Lewin, 1890-1947, German-born psychologist, studied human motivation and group dynamics.
Allan Nevins, 1890-1971, historian, biographer; The Ordeal of the Union.
Lewis Mumford, 1895-1990, sociologist, critic; The Culture of Cities.
Bernard A. De Voto, 1897-1955, historian; wrote trilogy on American West; edited Mark Twain manuscripts.
Ariel Durant, 1898-1981, and Will Durant, 1885-1981, historians; The Story of Civilization.
Margaret Mead, 1901-78, cultural anthropologist; popularized field, Coming of Age in Samoa.
Erik Erikson, 1902-94, psychoanalyst, author; theory of developmental stages of life, Childhood and Society.
Carl Rogers, 1902-87, psychotherapist, author; client-centered therapy.
Bruno Bettleheim, 1903-90, Austrian-born psychoanalyst specializing in autistic children; The Uses of Enchantment.
Joseph Campbell, 1904-87, author, editor, teacher; wrote books on mythology, folklore.
B. F. Skinner, 1904-89, psychologist; behaviorism.
Perry G. Miller, 1905-63, historian; interpreted 17th-century New England.
Barbara Tuchman, 1912-89, author of popular history books, The Guns of August, The March of Folly
Richard Hofstadter, 1916-70, historian; The Age of Reform.
Arthur Meier Schlesinger Jr., 1917-2007, historian; A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House
Russell Kirk, 1918-94, social philosopher; The Conservative Mind.
Howard Zinn, 1922-2010, historian; A People's History of the United States
Lee Salk, 1926-92, child psychologist, author.
Noam Chomsky, 1928-?, "father of modern linguistics"; transformational grammar; Syntactic Structures
Christopher Lasch, 1932-94, social critic, historian; The Culture of Narcissism.
David McCullough, 1933-?, historian; Truman, John Adams
Philip Zimbardo, 1933-?, psychologist; Stanford Prison Experiment
Ken Burns, 1953-?, documentary filmmaker, The Civil War, Baseball
British Social Scientists
Bede (the Venerable), c673-735, scholar and historian; Ecclesiastical History of the English People.
Thomas Hobbes, 1588-1679, philosopher, political theorist; Leviathan.
Izaak Walton, 1593-1683, wrote biographies; political-philosophical study of fishing, The Compleat Angler.
John Locke, 1632-1704, philosopher and political theorist; Two Treatises of Government.
Edmund Burke, 1729-97, Irish, British parliamentarian and political philosopher; influenced many Federalists.
Edward Gibbon, 1737-94, historian; The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
Robert Owen, 1771-1858, political philosopher, reformer; pioneer in cooperative movement.
James Mill, 1773-1836, Scottish, philosopher, historian, economist; a proponent of utilitarianism.
Thomas Carlyle, 1795-1881, Scottish, historian, critic; Sartor Resartus, Past and Present, The French Revolution.
Thomas B. Macaulay, 1800-59, historian, statesman.
George Trevelyan, 1838-1928, historian, statesman; favored "literary" over "scientific" history; History of England.
Sir James George Frazer, 1854-1941, anthropologist; studied myth in religion, The Golden Bough.
Sidney J., 1859-1947, and wife Beatrice, 1858-1943, Webb, leading figures in Fabian Society and Br. Labour Party
Arnold Toynbee, 1889-1975, historian; A Study of History.
Joseph Needham, 1900-95, scientific historian; Science and Civilization in China.
A(lan) J(ohn) P(ercivale) Taylor, 1906-89, historian; The Origins of the Second World War.
Nikolaas Tinbergen, 1907-88, (Dutch-born) ethologist; pioneer in study of animal behavior.
Mary, 1913-96, and husband Louis, 1903-72, Leakey, paleoanthropologists; found skulls at Olduvai Gorge; son Richard
Jane Goodall, 1934-?, studied chimpanzees
French Social Scientists
Charles-Louis Montesquieu, 1689-1755, social philosopher; The Spirit of Laws.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1712-78, social philosopher; the father of romantic sensibility; Confessions.
Charles Fourier, 1772-1837, utopian socialist.
Alexis de Tocqueville, 1805-59, political scientist, historian; Democracy in America.
Pierre Joseph Proudhon, 1809-65, social theorist; the father of anarchism, The Philosophy of Property.
Louis Blanc, 1811-82, Socialist leader and historian whose ideas were a link between utopian and Marxist socialism.
Hippolyte Taine, 1828-93, historian; basis of naturalistic school; The Origins of Contemporary France
Lucien Levy-Bruhl, 1857-1939, philosopher; studied the psychology of primitive societies; Primitive Mentality.
Alfred Binet, 1857-1911, psychologist; Binet-Simon IQ test.
Emile Durkheim, 1858-1917, a founder of modern sociology; The Rules of Sociological Method.
Claude Levi-Strauss, 1908-2009, developed structural anthropology; Tristes Tropiques
Italian Social Scientists
Niccolo Machiavelli, 1469-1527, writer, statesman. The Prince, Discourses on Livy.
Francesco Guicciardini, 1483-1540, historian; wrote Storia d'Italia, principal historical work of the 16th cent.
Giovanni Vico, 1668-1744, historian, philosopher; regarded by many as first modern historian; New Science.
Giuseppe Mazzini, 1805-72, political philosopher.
Benedetto Croce, 1866-1952, philosopher, statesman, and historian; Philosophy of the Spirit.
German Social Scientists
Theodor Mommsen, 1817-1903, (Ger.) historian; The History of Rome.
Karl Marx, 1818-83, (Ger.) political philosopher, proponent of modern Communism; Communist Manifesto, Das Kapital.
Friedrich Engels, 1820-95, (Ger.) political writer; with Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto.
Heinrich von Treitschke, 1834-96, (Ger.) historian, political writer; A History of Germany in the 19th Century.
George Simmel, 1858-1918, (Ger.) sociologist, philosopher; helped establish German sociology.
Max Weber, 1864-1920, (Ger.) sociologist; The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism.
Oswald Spengler, 1880-1936, (Ger.) philosopher and historian; The Decline of the West.
Other European Social Scientists
Ivan Pavlov, 1849-1936, Russian, physiologist; classical conditioning
Ferdinand de Saussure, 1857-1913, Swiss, founder of modern linguistics.
Bronislaw Malinowski, 1884-1942, Polish, considered the father of social anthropology.
Jose Ortega y Gasset, 1883-1955, Spanish, philosopher; advocated control by elite, The Revolt of the Masses.
Karl Mannheim, 1893-1947, Hungarian, sociologist, historian; Ideology and Utopia.
Jean Piaget, 1896-1980, Swiss, psychologist; Piaget's theory of cognitive development; genetic epistemology
Konrad Lorenz, 1904-89, Austrian, ethologist; pioneer in study of animal behavior.
Elizabeth Seton, 1774-1821, nun; established parochial school education in U.S.; first native-born American saint.
Emma Hart Willard, 1787-1870, pioneered higher education for women.
Lucretia Mott, 1793-1880, reformer, pioneer feminist.
Horace Mann, 1796-1859, pioneered modern public school system.
John Brown, 1800-59, abolitionist who led murder of 5 pro-slavery men at Harper's Ferry, was hanged.
William H. McGuffey, 1800-73, whose Reader was a mainstay of 19th-century U.S. public education.
Samuel G. Howe, 1801-76, social reformer; changed public attitudes toward the handicapped.
Dorothea Dix, 1802-87, crusader for the mentally ill.
Elizabeth P. Peabody, 1804-94, education pioneer; founded 1st kindergarten in U.S., 1860.
William Lloyd Garrison, 1805-79, abolitionist.
Henry Barnard, 1811-1900, public school reformer.
Henry Ward Beecher, 1813-87, clergyman, abolitionist.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1815-1902, woman suffrage pioneer.
Amelia Bloomer, 1818-94, social reformer.
Lucy Stone, 1818-93, feminist, abolitionist.
Susan B. Anthony, 1820-1906, a leader in temperance, anti-slavery, and woman suffrage movements.
Clara Barton, 1821-1912, organizer of the American Red Cross.
Frances E. Willard, 1839-98, temperance, women's rights leader.
Jacob Riis, 1849-1914, crusader for urban reforms; photographer; How the Other Half Lives.
Frances X. (Mother) Cabrini, 1850-1917, Italian-born nun; founded charitable institutions; first American Catholic saint.
Samuel Gompers, 1850-1924, labor leader; a founder and president of AFL.
Melvil Dewey, 1851-1931, devised decimal system of library-book classification.
Eugene V. Debs, 1855-1926, labor leader; led Pullman strike, 1894; 4-time Socialist presidential candidate.
Clarence Darrow, 1857-1938, lawyer; defender of "underdog," opponent of capital punishment.
Carrie Chapman Catt, 1859-1947, suffragette; helped win passage of the 19th amendment.
Jane Addams, 1860-1935, cofounder of Hull House; won Nobel Peace Prize, 1931.
Nicholas Murray Butler, 1862-1947, educator; headed Columbia Univ., 1902-45; Nobel Peace Prize, 1931.
Emma Goldman, 1869-1940, Russian-born, published anarchist Mother Earth, birth-control advocate.
Alexander Meiklejohn, 1872-1964, Br.-born educator; championed academic freedom and experimental curricula.
William Green, 1873-1952, president of AFL, 1924-52.
Helen Keller, 1880-1968, crusader for better treatment for the handicapped; taught by Anne Sullivan
John L. Lewis, 1880-1969, labor leader; headed United Mine Workers, 1920-60.
Margaret Sanger, 1883-1966, social reformer; pioneered the birth-control movement.
Philip Murray, 1886-1952, Scottish-born labor leader.
Sidney Hillman, 1887-1946, labor leader; helped organize CIO.
Karl Menninger, 1893-1990, with brother William found Menninger Clinic, and Menninger Foundation in Topeka, KS.
Dorothy Day, 1897-1980, founder of Catholic Worker Movement.
Sarah G. Blanding, 1899-1985, head of Vassar College, 1946-64.
Maggie Kuhn, 1905-95, founded Gray Panthers, 1970.
Philip Vera Cruz, 1905-94, Filipino-born, helped to found the United Farm Workers Union.
Walter Reuther, 1907-70, labor leader; headed UAW.
Rosa Parks, 1913-2005, Civil Rights Movement; did not give up seat to white on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama
William Kunstler, 1919-95, civil liberties attorney.
Betty Friedan 1921-2006, co-founder of National Organization for Women; The Feminine Mystique
John Holt, 1924-85, educator and author.
Medgar Evers, 1925-63, Civil Rights leader, led integration of Univ. of Miss.; assassinated by Byron De La Beckwith
Ralph Abernathy, 1926-90, Civil Rights leader, co-founded Southern Christian Leadership Conference
Cesar Chavez, 1927-93, labor leader; helped establish United Farm Workers of America.
Thomas Dooley, 1927-61, "jungle doctor," noted for efforts to supply medical aid to developing countries.
Michael Harrington, 1928-89, revealed poverty in affluent U.S. in The Other America, 1963.
Martin Luther King Jr., 1929-68, Civil Rights leader; "I Have a Dream" speech; assassinated by James Earl Ray
Harvey Milk, 1930-78, gay rights advocate on San Francisco Board of Supervisors
William Wilberforce, 1759-1833, social reformer; prominent in struggle to abolish the slave trade.
Mary Wollstonecraft, 1759-97, wrote Vindication of the Rights of Women.
Earl of Shaftesbury (A. A. Cooper), 1801-85, social reformer.
Florence Nightingale, 1820-1910, founder of modern nursing.
William Booth, 1829-1912, founded the Salvation Army.
Thomas Barnardo, 1845-1905, social reformer; pioneered in the care of destitute children.
Emmeline Pankhurst, 1858-1928, woman suffragist.
Mahatma Gandhi, 1869-1948, Indian, led Indian independence movement from Britain; nonviolent civil disobedience
Maria Montessori, 1870-1952, Italian, educator, physician; originated Montessori method of student self-motivation.
Giovanni Gentile, 1875-1944, Italian, philosopher, educator; reformed Italian educational system.
Nelson Mandela, 1918-2013, South African, anti-apartheid leader; African National Congress; imprisoned on Robben Island; President 1994-9
Aung San Suu Kyi, 1945-?, Burmese, political prisoner under house arrest; 1991 Nobel Prize
Malala Yousafzai, 1997-?, Pakistani, advocate for education of women; injured by Taliban gunman; youngest Nobel laureate