Abraham H. Maslow

On this date in 1908, Abraham H. Maslow was born, the first of seven children, to immigrant Russian Jewish parents, in New York City. He received his BA in 1930, his MA in 1931 and his Ph.D in 1934, all in psychology, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Maslow taught fulltime at Brooklyn College, then at Brandeis, where he was named Chair of Psychology in 1951. Maslow, a humanist-based psychologist, is known for proposing the "hierarchy of needs" to be met so an individual can achieve "self-actualization." In analysing achievers, Maslow found they were reality-centered. Among his many books was Religion, Values and Peak-Experiences, which is not a freethought treatise, but which did not limit "peak experiences" to the religious or necessarily ascribe such phenomena to supernaturalism. In the book's introduction, Maslow warned that mystics may become "not only selfish but also evil," in single-mindedly pursuing personal salvation, often at the expense of others. Maslow was named Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association in 1967. D. 1970.

“We need not take refuge in supernatural gods to explain our saints and sages and heroes and statesmen, as if to explain our disbelief that mere unaided human beings could be that good or wise.”

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

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