January 12, 1911–December 25, 2002
BY SIDNEY VERBA, LUCIAN PYE, AND HEINZ EULAU
WITH THE PASSING OF Gabriel Almond on December 25, 2002, shortly before what would have been his ninety-second birthday, the profession of political science lost one of its most talented, creative, disciplined, influential, and widely respected members. At the time of his death, Almond, a professor emeritus at Stanford University, was still actively involved in a number of research projects and remained vitally interested in public affairs.
Gabriel A. Almond was born in 1911 in Rock Island, Illinois, and was raised in Chicago, the son of a rabbi. Though he lived a secular life, his religious background can be seen in many ways, from his frequent references to biblical events and biblical themes to the deep moral commitments that infused his work. His last work, finished just before his death, was on religious fundamentalism.
Throughout his scholarly life, it was Almond’s good fortune to be, as he put it, in the right place at the right time—a pattern of luck that began in his undergraduate and graduate years at the University of Chicago. By the middle of the 1920s, under the leadership of Charles E. Merriam, the Chicago Department of Political Science had