The Life and Legacy of Abraham Maslow: Creator of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory

Abraham Harold Maslow was the eldest of seven children. His parents were uneducated Jewish immigrants from Russia. Young Maslow first studied law at the City College of New York (CCNY), but after three semesters he moved to Cornell, and then back to CCNY.

He earned a BA in 1930, while an MA followed in 1931, and a Ph.D in 1934; all of which he got in psychology from The University of Wisconsin. A year after graduating from his doctoral program, he returned to New York to work with EL Thorndike at Columbia, where Maslow became interested in researching human sexuality.

Born April 1, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York, United States, he began teaching full time at Brooklyn College in 1937. During that time, he met many European intellectuals who immigrated to the United States, and Brooklyn in particular, such as Adler, Fromm, Horney, and several Gestalt and Freudian psychologists.

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Later, Maslow served as chair of the psychology department at Brandeis in the period (1951-1969). This is where Maslow began to develop ideas and create his most famous theory, namely the hierarchy of needs. Beyond air, water, food, and sex, he lays down five broader layers (ordered by importance of fulfillment): physiological needs, needs for safety and security, needs for love and belonging, needs for appreciation, and needs for self-actualization.

Maslow’s book is easy to read and full of interesting ideas. The best known are Toward a Psychology of Being (1968), Motivation and Personality (1954 and 1970), and The Further Reaches of Human Nature (1971). In addition, there are also many articles written by Maslow, especially in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, one of which was pioneered by Maslow himself.

He spent his last year in California, until on June 8, 1970 he died of a heart attack from a long -standing illness.

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  • Full Name: Abraham Harold Maslow
  • Profession: Scientist
  • Place of Birth: Brooklyn, New York, United States
  • Date of Birth : Wednesday, April 1, 1908
  • Zodiac : Aries
  • Nationality: America


  • Law at City College of New York
  • Received BA in 1930, MA in 1931, and Ph.D in 1934 from the University of Wisconsin
  • Brooklyn College (1937)