Alvin Saunders Johnson

Last updated
Alvin S. Johnson
Born(1874-12-18)December 18, 1874
DiedJune 7, 1971(1971-06-07) (aged 96)
Nationality American
Institution Cornell University
Alma mater University of Nebraska
Columbia University
Edwin R. A. Seligman
John Bates Clark
Frank H. Knight

Alvin Saunders Johnson (December 18, 1874 – June 7, 1971) was an American economist and a co-founder and first director of The New School.



Alvin Johnson was born near Homer, Nebraska. He was educated at the University of Nebraska and Columbia (Ph.D., 1902). Afterwards, he was employed in various positions at Columbia, the University of Nebraska, the University of Texas, the University of Chicago, Stanford, and at Cornell after 1913.

He was assistant editor of the Political Science Quarterly in 1902–06, and editor from 1917 of the New Republic in New York City.

He was a co-founder of The New School in New York in 1918, becoming its director in 1922. Johnson helped to save numerous central European scholars from persecution by the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s, then brought them to a specially-created division of the New School which became known as the "University in Exile". There, among others, he worked with the antifascist intellectual Max Ascoli. [1] He was also an editor of the massive Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences .

He officially retired in December 1945, and died in 1971 in Upper Nyack, New York.

Major publications


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  1. Camuri, Renato (2009). "Idee in movimento: l'esilio degli intellettuali italiani negli Stati Uniti (1930-1945)". Memoria e ricerca (31): 55–56.
  2. Archived 2009-06-20 at the Wayback Machine New School Web Site