Encyclopedia of the History of Psychological Theories

2012 Edition
| Editors: Robert W. Rieber

Simon, Herbert A.

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0463-8_371

Basic Biographical Information

Herbert Alexander Simon was born on June 15, 1916, into a Jewish family in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His father, who held several patents, was an electrical engineer who had emigrated from Germany around the turn of the century. His mother was a pianist.

Simon’s early education was in the Milwaukee public schools, where he graduated from high school at age 17. Simon received both his B.A. (1937) and Ph.D. (1943) from the University of Chicago. As he notes (1991) in his autobiography, “the Milwaukee I grew up in was hardly a backwater, but neither was it an avant-garde center of the arts or of intellectual adventure… When I arrived at the University of Chicago in 1933, it was all the things- artistically, intellectually, and politically- that Milwaukee was not… It was the best possible environment for growing up” (pp. 36–37). There his mentors included Harold Laswell, Charles Edward Merriam, and Henry Schultz. Both of his degrees were in political science.


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  1. Augier, M., & March, J. G. (Eds.). (2004). Models of a man: Essays in memory of Herbert A. Simon. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  2. Crowther-Heyck, H. (2005). Herbert A. Simon: The bounds of reason in America. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Simon, H. A. (1991). Models of my life. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of Alaska SoutheastJuneauUSA