Alvin S. Johnson
Bust of Alvin Saunders Johnson created by Wesley Wofford in 2014 for the Nebraska Hall of Fame.
Bust of Alvin Saunders Johnson created by Wesley Wofford in 2014 for the Nebraska Hall of Fame.
Born(1874-12-18)December 18, 1874
DiedJune 7, 1971(1971-06-07) (aged 96)
Academic career
InstitutionCornell University
Alma materUniversity 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 was elected to the American Philosophical Society in 1942.[2]

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

Major publications


He was inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame in 2012.



  1. ^ Camuri, Renato (2009). "Idee in movimento: l'esilio degli intellettuali italiani negli Stati Uniti (1930-1945)". Memoria e Ricerca (31): 55–56.
  2. ^ "APS Member History". Retrieved 2023-04-17.
  3. ^ [1] Archived 2009-06-20 at the Wayback Machine New School Web Site