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Harold Dwight Lasswell

Harold Dwight Lasswell (February 13, 1902 – December 18, 1978) was a leading
American political scientist and communications theorist. He was a PhD student at the University
of Chicago, and he was a professor of law at Yale University. He served as president of
the American Political Science Association (APSA), of the American Society of International Law
and of the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS).
He has been described as a "one-man university" whose "competence in, and contributions to,
anthropology, communications, economics, law, philosophy, psychology, psychiatry and
sociology are enough to make him a political scientist in the model of classical Greece."[1]
According to a biographical memorial written by Gabriel Almond at the time of Lasswell's death
and published by the National Academies of Sciences in 1987, Lasswell "ranked among the half
dozen creative innovators in the social sciences in the twentieth century." At the time, Almond
asserted that "few would question that he was the most original and productive political scientist
of his time."
Areas of research in which Lasswell worked included the importance of personality, social
structure, and culture in the explanation of political phenomena. Lasswell was associated with
the disciplines of political science, psychology, and sociology – however he did not adhere to the
distinction between these boundaries but erased the lines drawn to divide these disciplines.