Biography of Abraham Maslow

The humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow is known for his theory of self-realization.

Childhood and early years

The eldest of the seven children of Samuel and Rosa Maslow, Abraham Maslow was born in New York. His parents were Jews who immigrated to the United States from Russia.

Grow a boy in the multinational quarter. The family was poor, parents to the children were indifferent and cared little about them.

The father so often offended and humiliated the boy, that he sincerely believed in his worthlessness. His mother was a rude and selfish woman, from whom the children saw neither love nor care.

In addition, Abraham was the only Jew among the boys in the neighborhood, and therefore fell prey to violent anti-Semitism, constantly attacking his religion.

All sorts of vicissitudes of life compel the boy to seek salvation in the library, where he reveals his love of books.

He studies at the Middle Men’s School, where he participates in a number of thematic clubs. Also, for a whole year, he takes part in the publication of the “Latin magazine” and the school newspaper on physics.

After graduation, Maslow enters the New York City Lyceum, and in the evenings takes lessons in jurisprudence. However, soon realizing that the exercise of law – it’s not his thing, he throws extra classes.

Later, Abraham enters Wisconsin University for the Faculty of Psychology. There he is engaged in research in the field of experimental behaviorism. Thanks to this work, a positive worldview has been consolidated. In 1931, Abraham Maslow received a master’s degree in psychology.

Scientific activity

In 1937, Maslow became a member of the faculty of the Brooklyn College, where he worked until 1951. When, in 1941, the United States entered the Second World War, Maslow was already too old and unsuitable for military service. However, the horrors of war inspire him to develop the ideas of the world and influence his theories in psychology, helping to create the science of humanitarian psychology.

A great trace in his soul Maslow left the way of life and actions of his two scientific mentors – the psychologist Max Wertheimer and the anthropologist Ruth Benedict – and later laid the foundation for his research...

in the field of mental health and human potential.

In 1943, in his article “The Theory of Human Motivation”, which appeared in the journal “Psychological Review”, Maslow offers his own hierarchy of needs. A detailed explanation of this theory was given in the book published in 1954, “Motivation and Personality.”

Maslow adheres to the point of view that any human being has a number of needs that, in order to achieve self-realization, must be satisfied in a certain order. According to his classification, human needs are arranged in the following order: physiological need, the desire for security, the need to belong to a particular social group and to be loved, the tendency to respect, the need for self-realization and the attraction to excellence. As a humanistic psychologist, Maslow sincerely believes that each individual needs to fully realize his potential for achieving self-realization. He backs up his theory by studying the personalities of Albert Einstein, Henry David Thoreau, Ruth Benedict, etc. – those who, in his opinion, successfully managed to achieve self-realization.

In 1951 Maslow became a professor at Brandeis University. There he will teach until 1969, until he moves to the staff of the Laughlin Institute in California.

In 1961 Maslow, together with psychologist Tony Sutich, founded the journal The Journal of Humanistic Psychology, which publishes scientific articles to this day.

Basic work

The greatest contribution to the psychology of Maslow is his theory of the hierarchy of needs, proposed by him in 1943. This classification of needs is based on numerous studies in the field of sociology, management, psychology, psychiatry, and so on.

Personal life and heritage

In 1928, when he was barely 20 years old, Maslow married his cousin Bertha. And this marriage becomes for him the beginning of a happy family life. Their life in love and harmony lasted until Abraham’s death. From this union, two daughters appeared.

For many years, Maslow had heart problems, and in 1967 suffered a serious attack. Three years later, in 1970, after the second blow, he dies.

The American Psychological Association annually awards the Abraham Maslow Award for significant contribution to the implementation of promising research in the field of further studies of the human soul.


Biography of Abraham Maslow