Biography: Burrhus Frederic Skinner (1904-1990)
Burrhus Frederic Skinner was born on March 20, 1904, in a small Pennsylvania
town of Susquehanna. He was brought up in a hardworking family. His father was a lawyer while his mother was an intelligent housewife. His brother died at age 16 due to a cerebral
Burrhus was a happy and lively boy, building things and loved playing outdoors. He even enjoyed school. When Burrhus grew older, he went to Hamilton College in New York to study. Burrhus didn't fit in very well in his new school, as he didn't enjoy the fraternity parties or the football games. Most of all, he was a non-believer in a school that had the daily chapel assemblies.
Burrhus wanted to become a writer. During his time at Hamilton College, he wrote for school papers and studied for his degree in English literature. He wrote some poetry and short stories in his parent's attic. After graduation, he allowed himself to work as a journalist, writing articles on labor problems. After some travelling, he decided to study again, so he went to Harvard University, where he got his masters and doctorate in psychology in 1930 and 1931. Afterwards he stayed for six years to do research. In 1936, he went to Minneapolis to teach at the University of Minnesota, where he also met and married Yvonne Blue. Soon they became parents of two daughters.
Burrhus made many inventions. One of them was the "air-crib", where his second daughter played in when she was a baby. It was a soundproof, temperature control device for a baby. It made the blankets and the clothes and allowed the baby to view the room around it. It was like a playground for babies.
In 1948, Burrhus was invited back to Harvard, where he led hundreds of doctoral candidates, did research and wrote many books, such as The Behavior of the Organism (1938) and Waldon Two (1948). Although he didn't become a great writer of poetry or fiction, he became one of the best psychology writers.
On August 18, 1990, B. F. Skinner died of leukemia.