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David Riesman Edit Profile

Lawyer , Social scientist

David Riesman, American lawyer, social scientist. Bars: Massachusetts, District of Columbia, 1935, New York, 1939.


Riesman, David was born on September 22, 1909 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States. Son of David and Eleanor L. (Fleisher) Riesman.


AB, Harvard University, 1931. Bachelor of Laws, Harvard University, 1934. Doctor of Laws, Marlboro College, 1954.

Doctor of Laws, Grinnell College, 1957. Doctor of Laws, Temple University, 1962. Doctor of Laws, University Sussex, England, 1965.

Doctor of Laws, Muhlenberg College, 1967. Doctor of Laws, University California, Berkeley, 1968. Doctor of Laws, University Pennsylvania, 1972.

Doctor of Laws, Fordham University, 1972. Doctor of Laws, Lafayette College, 1974. Doctor of Laws, Harvard University, 1990.

Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Williams College, Williamstown, Massachusetts, 1977. Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), St. Ambrose College, 1966. Doctor of Humane Letters (honorary), Franklin and Marshall College, 1976.

Doctor of Civil Law, Lincoln University, 1962. Doctor of Education, Rhode Island College, 1959. Doctor of Literature, Wesleyan University, 1960.

Also honorary degrees, Ohio State University, State University of New York, Carleton College, Tufts University, Suffolk University, Skidmore College, Boston University, Harvard University.


Research fellow, Harvard University, Boston, 1934-1935;law clerk to Mr. Justice Brandeis, Supreme Court of the United States Court, Washington, 1935-1936;associate, Lyne, Woodworth & Evarts, Boston, 1936-1937;professor of law, University Buffalo, 1937-1941;visiting research fellow, Columbia University Law School, New York City, 1941-1942;deputy assistant district attorney, New York County, 1942-1943;assistant to treasurer, war contract termination director, Sperry Gyroscope Company, Lake Success, Long Island, 1943-1946;visiting associate professor, College Social Sciences, University of Chicago, 1946-1947;professor social science, College Social Sciences, University of Chicago, 1949-1958;director research project on mass communications, Committee National Policy, Yale University, New Haven, 1948-1949;Deiches lecturer, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, 1954;Henry Ford II professor social science, Harvard University, since 1958. Fellow Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, 1968-1969.

Member Institute Advanced Study, Princeton, New Jersey, 1971-1972. Member Carnegie Commission forStudy Higher Education, 1967-1975.


  • Bars: Massachusetts, District of Columbia, 1935, New York, 1939.



Member advisory council Marlboro College, Vermont, Hampshire College, Amherst, Massachusetts. Honorary fellow New College, Sarasota, Florida, Cowell College, University California, Santa Cruz. Member American Sociological Association, Eastern Sociological Association, Association Studies in Higher Education, National Academy Education, A.

Academy Arts and Sciences, American Philosophical Society, Tocqueville Society (president emeritus).


Married Evelyn Hastings Thompson, July 15, 1936. Children: Paul (deceased), Jennie, Lucy, Michael.

David Riesman

Eleanor L. (Fleisher) Riesman

Evelyn Hastings Thompson

Paul Riesman (deceased)

Jennie Riesman

Lucy Riesman

Michael Riesman