American Humanist Association
The American Humanist Association (AHA) is an educational organization in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 that advances Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

. "Humanism is a progressive philosophy of life that, without theism and other supernatural beliefs, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity."
AHA advocates Humanism as defined by the International Humanist and Ethical Union
International Humanist and Ethical Union
The International Humanist and Ethical Union is an umbrella organisation embracing humanist, atheist, rationalist, secular, skeptic, freethought and Ethical Culture organisations worldwide. Founded in Amsterdam in 1952, the IHEU is a democratic union of more than 100 member organizations in 40...

 (IHEU), a multinational coalition of which it is a founding member. The American Humanist Association publishes a bi-monthly magazine called The Humanist.

The AHA was founded in 1941 as a successor to the Humanist Press Association, which was itself successor to the Humanist Fellowship founded in 1928. The official symbol of the AHA is the Happy Human
Happy Human
The Happy Human is a secular icon and the official symbol of the International Humanist and Ethical Union , a world body for Humanism, and has been adopted by many Humanist organisations and individuals worldwide. Its origin was a competition organised in 1965 by the British Humanist Association...


David Niose is the current President of the American Humanist Association. Roy Speckhardt
Roy Speckhardt
Roy Speckhardt, born January 24, 1973, in Carmel, New York, is executive director of the American Humanist Association, a non-profit civil liberties organization in Washington DC.-Biography:...

 is the executive director.


A formal, unified Humanist movement originated in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 during the end of the nineteenth and early part of the twentieth century. Liberal Unitarians, who were slowly moving away from theism, began to discuss the possibility of freeing one’s philosophy from the traditional constraints of theistic belief. Organized in 1867, under the leadership of Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an American essayist, lecturer, and poet, who led the Transcendentalist movement of the mid-19th century...

, the Free Religious Association appealed not only to those theological reformers within the Unitarian church, but also to non-Christian religious liberals. The organization proposed a concept they called humanistic theism, a precursor to religious humanism, which failed to move much beyond that stance and ceased to exist before World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. In 1876, Felix Adler also established the New York Society for Ethical Culture. It prompted the creation of similar ethical societies in Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

, Philadelphia, and St. Louis. The Ethical Culture movement fostered the founding of such reform efforts as the Legal Aid Society
Legal Aid Society
The Legal Aid Society in New York City is the United States' oldest and largest provider of legal services to the indigent. It operates both traditional civil and criminal law cases.-History:...

 and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), as well as helping establish Humanism as a modern term. Beginning in 1927 a number of Unitarian professors and seminarians at the University of Chicago organized the Humanist Fellowship to pursue Humanism in a popular fashion, and as a group began publishing the New Humanist.

Around the same time, Charles Francis Potter
Charles Francis Potter
Dr Charles Francis Potter was an American Unitarian minister, theologian and author.In 1923 and 1924, he became nationally known through a series of debates with Dr. John Roach Straton, a fundamentalist Christian. The subjects, which Dr...

 founded the First Humanist Society of New York. Formerly a Baptist and then a Unitarian minister, Potter began the society with the intent of it being a religious organization, calling Humanism “a new faith for a new age”. Shortly thereafter, he wrote a book entitled Humanism: A New Religion, outlining the basic premise and points of what he termed "religious humanism". His philosophy openly rejected the traditional Christian belief system and replaced it with one incorporating various aspects of naturalism
Naturalism is any of several philosophical stances wherein all phenomena or hypotheses, commonly labeled as supernatural, are either false or not inherently different from natural phenomena or hypotheses.Naturalism may also refer to:-In the arts:...

, materialism
In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance...

, rationalism
In epistemology and in its modern sense, rationalism is "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification" . In more technical terms, it is a method or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive"...

, and socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...


Humanism was designed to be ever evolving and compatible with the social schema of the humanity of the day. Potter’s intent was to offer a philosophy to replace Christianity, a more progressive approach to living and the common good. Therefore Potter’s definition of religion differed from that commonly accepted in his time.

A major Humanist milestone was achieved through the collaboration and agreement of thirty-four national leaders, including John Dewey
John Dewey
John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. Dewey was an important early developer of the philosophy of pragmatism and one of the founders of functional psychology...

, when in 1933 A Humanist Manifesto was written. This manifesto was a publicly signed document detailing the basic tenants of Humanism. By 1935 the Humanist Fellowship had become the Humanist Press Association, replacing the New Humanist with the Humanist Bulletin. With the help of Curtis Reese (a well-known Unitarian minister and Humanist,) and along with John H. Dietrich
John H. Dietrich
John Hassler Dietrich was a Unitarian minister, born at Chambersburg, Pa., who advocated Religious Humanism. He was educated at Franklin and Marshall College and at the Reformed Theological Seminary in Lancaster, Pa...

, the Humanist Press Association reorganized itself in 1941, forming the American Humanist Association. The goal was not to establish a religion, as Potter had originally intended, but instead to recognize the secular nature of Humanism, organize the vast members of its adherents, and align the organization for the mutual education of both its religious and non-religious members. In that light, the American Humanist Association is the oldest Humanist organization in the United States.

Along with its reorganization, the AHA began publishing The Humanist as the successor to the Humanist Bulletin. The magazine set out to explore modern day social and political issues through a Humanist point of view.

Early on the AHA was headquartered in Yellow Springs, Ohio
Yellow Springs, Ohio
Yellow Springs is a village in Greene County, Ohio, United States, and is the location of Antioch College and Antioch University Midwest. The population was 3,487 at the 2010 census...

, with connections to Antioch College
Antioch College
Antioch College is a private, independent liberal arts college in Yellow Springs, Ohio, United States. It was the founder and the flagship institution of the six-campus Antioch University system. Founded in 1852 by the Christian Connection, the college began operating in 1853 with politician and...

. Over time the organization grew in size and prominence, first moving to San Francisco, California
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

, and then to Amherst, New York
Amherst, New York
Amherst is a town in Erie County, New York, United States. As of the 2010 census, the town had a total population of 122,366. This represents an increase of 5.0% from the 2000 census. The town is named for Jeffrey Amherst, a British Army officer of the colonial period...

. Finally, continuing with a trend toward increasing advocacy, the AHA moved to Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, to better affect national policy and increase its social impact.

Into the 1940s and 1950s many Humanists that fought for Humanist values and ideals were not yet aware that such an organization as the AHA existed. Nevertheless, the AHA chose to support individual Humanist thinkers and activists, and gradually grew in significance. The foremost of these was Humanist philosopher Corliss Lamont
Corliss Lamont
Corliss Lamont , was a socialist philosopher, and advocate of various left-wing and civil liberties causes. As a part of his political activities he was the Chairman of National Council of American-Soviet Friendship starting from early 1940s...

. Lamont, perhaps the most influential Humanist thinker of his time and author of The Philosophy of Humanism, considered the standard guide to modern Humanist philosophy, spent much of the 1940s and 50s up against Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee
House Un-American Activities Committee
The House Committee on Un-American Activities or House Un-American Activities Committee was an investigative committee of the United States House of Representatives. In 1969, the House changed the committee's name to "House Committee on Internal Security"...

. Lamont held to the position that despite the prevailing “Red Scare” anti-communist attitude, the United States should try to maintain a productive relationship with the Soviet Union. As a result of his position, he became a target of government, was stripped of his property and passport, but fought back and won.

At the end of the 1940s the AHA was supportive of Vashti McCollum
Vashti McCollum
Vashti Cromwell McCollum was the plaintiff in a landmark 1948 Supreme Court case that struck down religious education in the public schools. The defendant in the McCollum case was the school district of Champaign, Illinois, wherein instructors chosen by three religious faiths had taught classes...

 in her fight against mandatory Bible study in public schools. The mother of two boys, McCollum argued that religious instruction in public schools violated the principle of separation of church and state. Her case traveled all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Court ruled in her favor in 1948 stating that American public schools must uphold a policy of religious neutrality. McCollum went on to serve as AHA president from 1962 to 1965.

In 1952 the AHA became a founding member of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) in Amsterdam, Netherlands. As an international coalition of Humanist organizations, the IHEU stands today as the only international umbrella group for Humanism, claiming millions of members from over one hundred organizations, large and small, throughout the world. The IHEU acts as a Humanist clearinghouse. With memberships in the United Nations, the U.N. Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

), the U.N. International Children’s Educational Fund (UNICEF), the Council of Europe, and the European Union, the IHEU aims to create growth and support for Humanism through interaction and cooperation with its member organizations.

It was at this time, in the mid 1950s, that then AHA president Nobel Laureate Harman J. Muller suggested that the AHA could be the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s philosophical branch, but the AAAS
AAAS may refer to:* American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an organization dedicated to scholarship and the advancement of learning* American Association for the Advancement of Science, an organization that promotes cooperation between scientists...

 declined the proposal claiming that the AHA’s membership did not include enough individuals with PhDs.

Throughout the 1960s the AHA became actively involved in challenging the illegality of abortion and was the first national membership organization to support abortion rights. Humanist leaders were prominent in the founding of pro-choice organizations, including the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights (now the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice
The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice was founded in 1973 by clergy and lay leaders from mainline denominations and faith traditions to provide interfaith support for the new constitutional right to privacy in decisions about abortion...

) and the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (now NARAL Pro-Choice America
NARAL Pro-Choice America
NARAL Pro-Choice America , formerly the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, then National Abortion Rights Action League, and later National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League, is an organization in the United States that engages in political action to oppose...

). These organizations continue to defend and support elective abortion rights.

Around the same time, the AHA joined hands with the American Ethical Union (AEU) to help establish the rights of nontheistic conscientious objectors to the Vietnam War. This time also saw Humanists involved in the creation of the first nationwide memorial societies, giving people broader access to cheaper alternatives than the traditional mortuary controlled burial. Today cremation and humanistic memorial services are more widely available and affordable than ever before.


The AHA was founded as an educational organization in 1941, was incorporated in Illinois in 1943, and secured an educational tax exemption shortly thereafter. In the late 1960s the AHA also secured a religious tax exemption in support of its celebrant
Celebrant USA Foundation and Institute
The Celebrant Foundation & Institute is a 501 non-profit educational organization dedicated to the education, training and certification of professional secular officiants known as Life-Cycle Celebrants...

 program, allowing Humanist celebrants to legally officiate at weddings, perform chaplaincy functions, and in other ways enjoy the same rights as traditional clergy
Clergy is the generic term used to describe the formal religious leadership within a given religion. A clergyman, churchman or cleric is a member of the clergy, especially one who is a priest, preacher, pastor, or other religious professional....

. In 1991, however, the AHA took control of the Humanist Society, a religious Humanist organization founded in 1939, and moved its celebrant program over to it. After that, the AHA commenced the process of jettisoning its religious tax exemption and resuming its exclusively educational status—a change that finally took effect January 1, 2003. Today, therefore, the AHA is recognized by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service
Internal Revenue Service
The Internal Revenue Service is the revenue service of the United States federal government. The agency is a bureau of the Department of the Treasury, and is under the immediate direction of the Commissioner of Internal Revenue...

 as a nonprofit, tax exempt, 501 (c)(3), publicly supported educational organization.


The mission of the American Humanist Association is to promote the spread of Humanism, raise public awareness and acceptance of Humanism, and encourage the continued refinement of the Humanist philosophy.

The AHA is also the supervising organization for the Appignani Humanist Legal Center (AHLC), a legal advocacy and aid group, the Appignani Bioethics Center (ABC), a group focused on bioethical issues, an education arm called the Kochhar Humanist Education Center, offering classes and continuing education on humanist issues, and the Feminist Caucus of the American Humanist Association, a group advocating for women's rights.

As a member organisation of the IHEU, the AHA fully endorses the Amsterdam Declaration 2002.

AHA's definition of Humanism

The AHA's definition from its website:

"Humanism is a progressive lifestance
Life stance
A person's life stance, or lifestance, is their relation with what they accept as being of ultimate importance, the presuppositions and theory of this, and the commitments and practice of working it out in living....

 that, without supernaturalism, affirms our ability and responsibility to lead ethical lives of personal fulfillment that aspire to the greater good of humanity
." —Humanism and Its Aspirations

IHEU's minimum statement on Humanism

All member organisations of the IHEU are required by IHEU bylaw 5.1 to accept the IHEU Minimum statement on Humanism:
Humanism is a democratic and ethical life stance
Life stance
A person's life stance, or lifestance, is their relation with what they accept as being of ultimate importance, the presuppositions and theory of this, and the commitments and practice of working it out in living....

, which affirms that human beings have the right and responsibility to give meaning and shape to their own lives. It stands for the building of a more humane society through an ethic based on human and other natural values in the spirit of reason and free inquiry through human capabilities. It is not theistic, and it does not accept supernatural views of reality.

Unofficial definitions

  • Kurt Vonnegut
    Kurt Vonnegut
    Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. was a 20th century American writer. His works such as Cat's Cradle , Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions blend satire, gallows humor and science fiction. He was known for his humanist beliefs and was honorary president of the American Humanist Association.-Early...

    , former Honorary President of the AHA, wrote in God Bless You, Dr. Kevorkian, “I am a humanist, which means, in part, that I have tried to behave decently without any expectation of rewards or punishments after I'm dead.”

AHA's role in Humanism

The AHA strives to be vocal on issues of major concern to Humanists; reaching out to media and opinion leaders as well as keeping its members informed about the issues of the day. It currently has groups in more than 30 states and publishes the Humanist magazine and the philosophical journal, Essays in the Philosophy of Humanism. The AHA is also the publisher of the Humanist Manifestos I, II, and III.
The AHA along with the Washington Area Secular Humanists host a website for the National Day of Reason
National Day of Reason
The National Day of Reason is an unofficial secular celebration created by the American Humanist Association and the Washington Area Secular Humanists for humanists, atheists, and other secularists and freethinkers in response to the official National Day of Prayer of the United States...


Famous awardees

The American Humanist Association has named a "Humanist of the Year" annually since 1953. It has also granted other honors to numerous leading figures, including Salman Rushdie (Outstanding Lifetime Achievement Award in Cultural Humanism 2007), Oliver Stone
Oliver Stone
William Oliver Stone is an American film director, producer and screenwriter. Stone became well known in the late 1980s and the early 1990s for directing a series of films about the Vietnam War, for which he had previously participated as an infantry soldier. His work frequently focuses on...

 (Humanist Arts Award, 1996), Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn
Katharine Houghton Hepburn was an American actress of film, stage, and television. In a career that spanned 62 years as a leading lady, she was best known for playing strong-willed, sophisticated women in both dramas and comedies...

 (Humanist Arts Award 1985), John Dewey
John Dewey
John Dewey was an American philosopher, psychologist and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform. Dewey was an important early developer of the philosophy of pragmatism and one of the founders of functional psychology...

 (Humanist Pioneer Award, 1954), Jack Kevorkian
Jack Kevorkian
Jacob "Jack" Kevorkian , commonly known as "Dr. Death", was an American pathologist, euthanasia activist, painter, composer and instrumentalist. He is best known for publicly championing a terminal patient's right to die via physician-assisted suicide; he said he assisted at least 130 patients to...

 (Humanist Hero Award, 1996) and Vashti McCollum
Vashti McCollum
Vashti Cromwell McCollum was the plaintiff in a landmark 1948 Supreme Court case that struck down religious education in the public schools. The defendant in the McCollum case was the school district of Champaign, Illinois, wherein instructors chosen by three religious faiths had taught classes...

 (Distinguished Service Award, 1991).

AHA's Humanists of the Year

  • Rebecca Goldstein
    Rebecca Goldstein
    Rebecca Goldstein is an American novelist and professor of philosophy. She has written five novels, a number of short stories and essays, and biographical studies of mathematician Kurt Gödel and philosopher Baruch Spinoza....

     - 2011
  • Bill Nye
    Bill Nye
    William Sanford "Bill" Nye , popularly known as Bill Nye the Science Guy, is an American science educator, comedian, television host, actor, mechanical engineer, and scientist...

     - 2010
  • PZ Myers
    PZ Myers
    Paul Zachary "PZ" Myers is an American biology professor at the University of Minnesota Morris and the author of the Pharyngula science blog. He is currently an associate professor of biology at UMM, works with zebrafish in the field of evolutionary developmental biology , and also cultivates an...

     - 2009
  • Pete Stark
    Pete Stark
    Fortney Hillman "Pete" Stark, Jr. is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1973. He is a member of the Democratic Party. Currently he is the 5th most senior Representative, as well as 6th most senior member of Congress overall...

     - 2008
  • Joyce Carol Oates
    Joyce Carol Oates
    Joyce Carol Oates is an American author. Oates published her first book in 1963 and has since published over fifty novels, as well as many volumes of short stories, poetry, and nonfiction...

     - 2007
  • Steven Pinker
    Steven Pinker
    Steven Arthur Pinker is a Canadian-American experimental psychologist, cognitive scientist, linguist and popular science author...

     - 2006
  • Murray Gell-Mann
    Murray Gell-Mann
    Murray Gell-Mann is an American physicist and linguist who received the 1969 Nobel Prize in physics for his work on the theory of elementary particles...

     - 2005
  • Daniel Dennett
    Daniel Dennett
    Daniel Clement Dennett is an American philosopher, writer and cognitive scientist whose research centers on the philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and philosophy of biology, particularly as those fields relate to evolutionary biology and cognitive science. He is currently the Co-director of...

     - 2004
  • Sherwin T. Wine - 2003
  • Steven Weinberg
    Steven Weinberg
    Steven Weinberg is an American theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate in Physics for his contributions with Abdus Salam and Sheldon Glashow to the unification of the weak force and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles....

     - 2002
  • Stephen Jay Gould
    Stephen Jay Gould
    Stephen Jay Gould was an American paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, and historian of science. He was also one of the most influential and widely read writers of popular science of his generation....

     - 2001
  • William F. Schulz
    William F. Schulz
    William F. "Bill" Schulz was the Executive Director of Amnesty International USA, the U.S. division of Amnesty International, from March 1994 to 2006. He is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister, and served as president of the Unitarian Universalist Association from 1985 to 1993. He is...

     - 2000
  • Edward O. Wilson - 1999
  • Barbara Ehrenreich
    Barbara Ehrenreich
    -Early life:Ehrenreich was born Barbara Alexander to Isabelle Oxley and Ben Howes Alexander in Butte, Montana, which she describes as then being "a bustling, brawling, blue collar mining town."...

     - 1998
  • Alice Walker
    Alice Walker
    Alice Malsenior Walker is an American author, poet, and activist. She has written both fiction and essays about race and gender...

     - 1997
  • Richard Dawkins
    Richard Dawkins
    Clinton Richard Dawkins, FRS, FRSL , known as Richard Dawkins, is a British ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author...

     - 1996
  • Ashley Montagu
    Ashley Montagu
    Montague Francis Ashley Montagu was a British-American anthropologist and humanist, of Jewish ancestry, who popularized topics such as race and gender and their relation to politics and development...

     - 1995
  • Lloyd Morain
    Lloyd Morain
    Lloyd L. Morain was an American businessman, philanthropist, writer, environmentalist, art collector and film producer, who uniquely served two terms as President of the American Humanist Association .-Life and career:...

     - 1994
  • Mary Morain
    Mary Morain
    Mary Stone Dewing Morain was an American therapist, social reformer and prominent secular humanist, the co-author, with her husband Lloyd Morain, of Humanism As The Next Step....

     - 1994
  • Richard D. Lamm - 1993
  • Kurt Vonnegut
    Kurt Vonnegut
    Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. was a 20th century American writer. His works such as Cat's Cradle , Slaughterhouse-Five and Breakfast of Champions blend satire, gallows humor and science fiction. He was known for his humanist beliefs and was honorary president of the American Humanist Association.-Early...

     - 1992
  • Lester R. Brown
    Lester R. Brown
    Lester Russel Brown is a United States environmental analyst, founder of the Worldwatch Institute, and founder and president of the Earth Policy Institute, a nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C...

     - 1991
  • Ted Turner
    Ted Turner
    Robert Edward "Ted" Turner III is an American media mogul and philanthropist. As a businessman, he is known as founder of the cable news network CNN, the first dedicated 24-hour cable news channel. In addition, he founded WTBS, which pioneered the superstation concept in cable television...

     - 1990
  • Gerald A. Larue - 1989
  • Leo Pfeffer - 1988
  • Margaret Atwood
    Margaret Atwood
    Margaret Eleanor Atwood, is a Canadian poet, novelist, literary critic, essayist, and environmental activist. She is among the most-honoured authors of fiction in recent history; she is a winner of the Arthur C...

     - 1987
  • Faye Wattleton
    Faye Wattleton
    Faye Wattleton is the first African-American and youngest President ever elected to Planned Parenthood . Currently, she serves as the President of the Center for the Advancement of Women, and also serves on the board of trustees at Columbia University...

     - 1986
  • John Kenneth Galbraith
    John Kenneth Galbraith
    John Kenneth "Ken" Galbraith , OC was a Canadian-American economist. He was a Keynesian and an institutionalist, a leading proponent of 20th-century American liberalism...

     - 1985
  • Isaac Asimov
    Isaac Asimov
    Isaac Asimov was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000...

     - 1984
  • Lester A. Kirkendall - 1983
  • Helen Caldicott
    Helen Caldicott
    Helen Mary Caldicott is an Australian physician, author, and anti-nuclear advocate who has founded several associations dedicated to opposing the use of nuclear power, depleted uranium munitions, nuclear weapons, nuclear weapons proliferation, war and military action in general. She hosts a...

     - 1982
  • Carl Sagan
    Carl Sagan
    Carl Edward Sagan was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author, science popularizer and science communicator in astronomy and natural sciences. He published more than 600 scientific papers and articles and was author, co-author or editor of more than 20 books...

     - 1981
  • Andrei Sakharov
    Andrei Sakharov
    Andrei Dmitrievich Sakharov was a Soviet nuclear physicist, dissident and human rights activist. He earned renown as the designer of the Soviet Union's Third Idea, a codename for Soviet development of thermonuclear weapons. Sakharov was an advocate of civil liberties and civil reforms in the...

     - 1980
  • Edwin H. Wilson
    Edwin H. Wilson
    Edwin Henry Wilson was an American Unitarian leader and humanist who helped draft the Humanist Manifesto of 1973....

     - 1979
  • Margaret E. Kuhn - 1978
  • Corliss Lamont
    Corliss Lamont
    Corliss Lamont , was a socialist philosopher, and advocate of various left-wing and civil liberties causes. As a part of his political activities he was the Chairman of National Council of American-Soviet Friendship starting from early 1940s...

     - 1977
  • Jonas E. Salk - 1976
  • Betty Friedan
    Betty Friedan
    Betty Friedan was an American writer, activist, and feminist.A leading figure in the Women's Movement in the United States, her 1963 book The Feminine Mystique is often credited with sparking the "second wave" of American feminism in the twentieth century...

     - 1975
  • Henry Morgentaler
    Henry Morgentaler
    Henry Morgentaler, CM is a Canadian physician and prominent pro-choice advocate who has fought numerous legal battles for that cause.-Early life:...

     - 1975
  • Mary Calderone
    Mary Calderone
    Mary Steichen Calderone was a physician and a public health advocate for sexual education. She served as president and co-founder of the Sex Information and Education Council of the United States from 1954 to 1982. She was also the medical director for Planned Parenthood...

     - 1974
  • Joseph Fletcher
    Joseph Fletcher
    Joseph Fletcher was an American professor who founded the theory of situational ethics in the 1960s, and was a pioneer in the field of bioethics. Fletcher was a leading academic involved in the topics of abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, eugenics, and cloning. Ordained as an Episcopal priest, he...

     - 1974
  • Thomas Szasz
    Thomas Szasz
    Thomas Stephen Szasz is a psychiatrist and academic. Since 1990 he has been Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, New York. He is a well-known social critic of the moral and scientific foundations of psychiatry, and of the social...

     - 1973
  • B.F. Skinner - 1972
  • Albert Ellis - 1971
  • A. Philip Randolph
    A. Philip Randolph
    Asa Philip Randolph was a leader in the African American civil-rights movement and the American labor movement. He organized and led the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, the first predominantly Negro labor union. In the early civil-rights movement, Randolph led the March on Washington...

     - 1970
  • R. Buckminster Fuller - 1969
  • Benjamin Spock
    Benjamin Spock
    Benjamin McLane Spock was an American pediatrician whose book Baby and Child Care, published in 1946, is one of the biggest best-sellers of all time. Its message to mothers is that "you know more than you think you do."Spock was the first pediatrician to study psychoanalysis to try to understand...

     - 1968
  • Abraham H. Maslow - 1967
  • Erich Fromm
    Erich Fromm
    Erich Seligmann Fromm was a Jewish German-American social psychologist, psychoanalyst, sociologist, humanistic philosopher, and democratic socialist. He was associated with what became known as the Frankfurt School of critical theory.-Life:Erich Fromm was born on March 23, 1900, at Frankfurt am...

     - 1966
  • Hudson Hoagland - 1965
  • Carl Rogers
    Carl Rogers
    Carl Ransom Rogers was an influential American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology...

     - 1964
  • Hermann J. Muller - 1963
  • Julian Huxley
    Julian Huxley
    Sir Julian Sorell Huxley FRS was an English evolutionary biologist, humanist and internationalist. He was a proponent of natural selection, and a leading figure in the mid-twentieth century evolutionary synthesis...

     - 1962
  • Linus Pauling
    Linus Pauling
    Linus Carl Pauling was an American chemist, biochemist, peace activist, author, and educator. He was one of the most influential chemists in history and ranks among the most important scientists of the 20th century...

     - 1961
  • Leó Szilárd
    Leó Szilárd
    Leó Szilárd was an Austro-Hungarian physicist and inventor who conceived the nuclear chain reaction in 1933, patented the idea of a nuclear reactor with Enrico Fermi, and in late 1939 wrote the letter for Albert Einstein's signature that resulted in the Manhattan Project that built the atomic bomb...

     - 1960
  • Brock Chisholm
    Brock Chisholm
    George Brock Chisholm, CC, MC & Bar was a Canadian First World War veteran, medical practitioner, and the first Director-General of the World Health Organization...

     - 1959
  • Oscar Riddle
    Oscar Riddle
    Oscar Riddle was an American biologist. He is known for his research into the pituitary gland and for isolating the hormone prolactin. Riddle was named the Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association in 1958.-Early career:Riddle was born in Cincinnati, Indiana to Jonathan Riddle, Jr...

     - 1958
  • Margaret Sanger
    Margaret Sanger
    Margaret Higgins Sanger was an American sex educator, nurse, and birth control activist. Sanger coined the term birth control, opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, and established Planned Parenthood...

     - 1957
  • C. Judson Herrick - 1956
  • James P. Warbasse - 1955
  • Arthur F. Bendley - 1954
  • Anton J. Carlson - 1953

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.