Pitirim Sorokin Biography
(Sociologist and Political Activist)
Birthday: January 21, 1889 (Aquarius)
Born In: nyazhpogostsky District, Russia
Pitirim Sorokin was a Russian-American sociologist, professor, political activist, and a noted anti-communist advocate. Born into the Komi peasantry in Russia, Sorokin displayed an early affinity for political activism. He was involved with organized resistance initiatives against the czar at the age of 14. However, his relationship with both the monarchy and the Bolsheviks (led by Lenin) grew strained, and after several arrests, he was exiled. As a result, he moved to the United States with his family, working as a professor at several universities, producing an unusual volume of academic writing and developing his pioneering work on social cycles. He was eventually invited to lay the foundations of Harvard University’s sociology department (where he developed a famously fractious relationship with his colleague and noted American sociologist, Talcott Parsons) and elected the president of the ‘International Institute of Sociology’ and the ‘American Sociological Association.’ One his sons became a renowned physicist in his own right.