Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of the History of Psychological Theories

pp 1049-1050

Sumner, Francis Cecil

  • Roger K. ThomasAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Fordham UniversityDepartment of Psychology, University of Georgia Email author 

Basic Biographical Information

Sumner (1895–1954) was born in Pine Bluff, AK, USA. Educational facilities and opportunities were poor for blacks in the South, but Sumner received an acceptable elementary school education in Norfolk, VA, and Plainfield, NJ. However, the high schools were so inferior that Sumner did not attend. Nevertheless, with the assistance of his father, he learned enough to gain entry by examination to Lincoln University in 1911. In 1915, he was graduated with honors in English, Greek, Latin, modern foreign languages, and philosophy. With the encouragement of G. Stanley Hall, the eminent American psychologist and President of Clark College and University (Worcester, MA), Sumner earned a second bachelors degree at Clark in English (1916). Back to Lincoln and while teaching German and psychology, Sumner earned the M.A. degree (1917). Undecided whether to continue his doctoral studies in German or psychology, Sumner was offered full financ ...

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