Biographies and Memoirs

Portraits of Department Faculty throughout its History

The individuals listed below played significant roles in the history of the Department of Psychology since its founding in 1917. Included are links to various types of articles published in various sources. Each of the linked pieces provides a perspective on how each person made unique contributions to the department’s history. The authors of the obituaries are primarily former or current department faculty and affiliates or former students. 

John Gordon Darley (1910-1990)
obituary by H. Borow appeared in American Psychologist, 1992.

John Dodson (First PhD graduate of the Department)
an article from History of Psychology by Thomas Brothen, professor in the Department of Psychology, covering the career of John Dodson of Yerkes-Dodson Law fame. 

Marvin Dunnette
a memoir written by Marv Dunnette

R. M. Elliott
a chapter from the 1952 History of Psychology in Autobiography

Harlow Stearns Gale (Pioneer in Minnesota Psychology)
this short biography by Thomas Brothen describes the life of Harlow Gale, a member of the Department of Philosophy and Psychology from 1894-1903. Gale predated the formal founding of the Psychology Department and made seminal contributions to research in psychology. 

Starke Rosecrans Hathaway (1903-1984)
obituary by W.G. Dahlstrom, P. Meehl, W. Schofield in American Psychologist, 1986.

James J. Jenkins (1923-2012)
obituary by D. Foss and J.B. Overmier appeared in American Psychologist, 2013.

Howard Porter Longstaff (1901 – 1967)
John G. Darley, the Department Chair at the time of Longstaff’s death, wrote this eulogy and delivered it on February 17, 1967 in the Nolte Center for Continuing Education Chapel. The annotations by Thomas Brothen in italics enclosed in brackets are drawn from the Longstaff Personnel file that resides in the Department of Psychology archives.

David Thoreson Lykken (1928-2006)
obituary by Professor William Iacono appeared in American Psychologist, 2007. 

Paul Everett Meehl (1920-2003)
Obituary by D. Faust and N. Waller appeared in American Psychologist, 2004.
Meehl website

D.G. Paterson
a brief biography published in 2007

B. F. Skinner
a selection from the 1967 History of Psychology in Autobiography

Travis Thompson (1937-2023) 
a brief biography and three attachments that describe his long career at Minnesota and other institutions.

Miles Tinker
D.G. Paterson's essay upon Tinker's retirement in 1959 and a biography of Tinker from 2016 Visible Language

R. M. Yerkes 
a selection from the 1932 History of Psychology in Autobiography