George Edgar Vincent

National Cyclopedia of American Biography

VINCENT, George Edgar, educator and president of Rockefeller Foundation (1917-29), was born at Rockford, Ill., Mar. 21, 1864, son of John Heyl and Elizabeth (Dusenbury) Vincent. He is a descendant of John Vincent, a Huguenot, who emigrated from Rochelle, France, to New York in 1687, the line from John and his wife Susanne Nuquerque descending through their son Levi and his wife Esther Tourneau; John and Elizabeth Dοremus; Cornelius and Phebe Ward; Bethuel and Martha Nimrod and John and Mary Raser who were the grandparents of George E. Vincent. His father (q.v.) was a bishop of the Methodist Episcopal church and

( 207) one of the founders of the Chautauqua Institution. He attended the public schools of Plainfield, N.J., Pingrey's academy, at Elizabeth, N.J., and Yale college, where he was graduated A.B. in 1885. After engaging in newspaper work in New York city and traveling in Europe and the Orient he joined the Chautauqua Institution in 1886 as literary editor and became vice-president in 1888, principal in 1898 and president in 1907, retaining that post until 1915. For sixteen years from 1894 he was also a member of the University of Chicago faculty, obtaining the Ph.D. in 1896 after serving successively as fellow, assistant and instructor in sociology. Thereafter, he was associate-professor and professor in that subject, dean of the junior college and dean of the faculties of arts, literature and science. He was president of the University of Minnesota during 1911-17 and from 1917 to 1929 was president of the Rockefeller Foundation, whose chief activities at that time were the furthering of medical education and combating disease throughout the world. In accordance with the retirement policy of the foundation, lie retired at the end of 1929. At the same time he resigned from membership in the General Education Board and in the International Education Board, with which he had been connected since 1914 and 1922, respectively. For some years Dr. Vincent has been a member of the American-Scandinavian Foundation, Commission for Relief in Belgium Educational Foundation and English-Speaking Union, and during the year 1935-36 was chairman of the hospital survey committee of the United Hospital Fund of New York city. He was president (1916-17) of the American Sociological Society. Since retirement he has been active as a public speaker and traveler. Dr. Vincent is the author of "An Introduction to the Study of Society," with Albion Woodbury Small (1895), and "Social Mind and Education" (1896). The honorary degree of LL.D. was conferred en him by Yale university (1911) and the universities of Chicago (1911), Michigan (1913) and Minnesota (1930). He was married Jan. 8, 1890, to Louise Mary, daughter of Henry Wilbur Palmer (q.v.), an attorney, of Wilkes Barre, Pa., and they had three children: Isabel, wife of Paul V. Harper; John Henry, and Elizabeth Vincent, wife of Maxwell Foster.


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