The Nobel Foundation
Herbert A. Simon

Florida Atlantic University Libraries

American Jewish Recipients of the Nobel Prize

A Judaica Collection Exhibit


Herbert A. Simon: Nobel Prize
in Economics Recipient-1978

by Seymour “Sy” Brody

Herbert Alexander Simon was an American Jewish recipient of the Nobel Prize in Economics for his pioneering research into the decision-making process within economic organizations.

Herbert Simon was born June on 15, 1916, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His family was Jewish and his father was an electrical engineer which led to his inventions and designs. He received his degree from the Technische Hochschule of Darmstadt, Germany. He migrated to the United States in 1903. Herbert Simon was an accomplished pianist like his mother.

He received his degree from the University of Chicago in 1936. His term paper developed his interest in decision-making in organizations. He became the director of a research group at the University of California, Berkeley, 1939-1942. During his three-year stay in at the University of Berkeley, he arranged to work for his doctorate by mail from the University of Chicago.

He then went to the Illinois Institute of Technology and secured a position in political science. In 1949, the Carnegie Institute of Technology received a large endowment to establish a Graduate School of Industrial Administration and Simon was asked to join the staff. Here, he was involved with other members of the faculty in the study of organizational decision making.

During his life, Herbert Simon received many awards which included
● Turin Award, 1975
● Nobel Prize in Economics, 1978
● National Medal of Science, 1986
● von Neumann Theory Prize, 1988

He was married to Dorothea Pye and they had two girls and a boy. Simon died on February 9, 2001, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


For additional information, contact
Special Collections and Archives
S.E. Wimberly Library


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