Edward O. Laumann


Edward O. Laumann is the George Herbert Mead Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. Laumann was born in Youngstown, Ohio in 1938 and earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from HarvardUniversity in 1964. He came to the University of Chicago in 1973 by way of the University of Michigan, where he was hired as an Assistant Professor right after graduation. Laumann served as the chair of the Department of Sociology and the Dean of the Social Sciences before being named the eighth Provost of the University of Chicago in 1992. He has served as the Director of NORC's Ogburn-Stouffer Center for the Study of Social Organizations and as Chairman of the NORC Board of Trustees.

Laumann is known for his pioneering work in several areas of sociology. He is one of the founders of the field of social network analysis, and wrote some of the foundational work on networks of elites, organizational networks, and egocentric networks. He is equally well known for his work in the sociology of sexuality, both for his theoretical and empirical contributions to the field and for his years-long fight against Congress for funds to collect national data on American sexual norms and practices in the wake of the AIDS crisis.

His many honors include membership in Phi Beta Kappa, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, serving on the editorial board of the Law and Social Inquiry journal, and being named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

The Department of Sociology is hosting a conference in Ed’s honor on April 5, 2019 to celebrate his many years of scholarship and service to the University of Chicago.