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Sociologist George Lundberg


Before he was president of the American Sociological Association, George Lundberg spent his youth in North Dakota. He was born in 1895 in Fairdale, North Dakota to Swedish immigrants. Lundberg received his first eight years of education in a one-room schoolhouse. By age sixteen, he was a public school teacher just three miles from home.

Lundberg had difficulty entering college, not having a high school diploma, but he eventually succeeded, attending the University of North Dakota and graduating in 1920. Lundberg continued to teach after his UND years, including stints in public schools and Methodist and Presbyterian Sunday classes. He also moonlighted as a violinist in a Saturday night dance band.

Lundberg’s introduction to sociology came from John M. Gillette, UND’s founder of rural sociology, the study of population, organization and processes of rural societies. It was familiar territory for Lundberg, a native from Fairdale, with a population of not even 200.

Lundberg’s graduate studies brought him to the University of Minnesota and Columbia University. He taught at five universities with stops in Washington, Pittsburgh and Vermont. He also served as president and editor at various sociology groups and publications. Lundberg was the ASA’s thirty-third president from 1943 to ’44. His resume includes seven books and seventy articles. His major contribution to sociology was encouraging fellow sociologists to look at the field scientifically.

Lundberg was a lifelong bachelor until his early sixties. He and his wife Sylvia had a son. Lundberg loved the arts and gardening, growing enough produce at his vacation home to feed up to 80 party guests at one time. He died unexpectedly in Seattle on this date in 1966 following surgery.

Dakota Datebook by Jack Dura



Faris, R.E.L. (1966, August). In memoriam: George Andrew Lundberg 1895-1966. The American Sociologist, p. 212-13. Retrieved from: