Samuel Ichiye Hayakawa (July 18, 1906-February 27, 1992) was an English professor and academic who served as a United States Senator from California from 1977 to 1983. Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1906, he was educated in the public schools of Calgary and Winnipeg, Canada; received his undergraduate degree from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg in 1927; graduate degrees in English from McGill University, Montreal, Canada, 1928 and University of Wisconsin, Madison 1935.
Professionally, Hayakawa was a psychologist, semanticist, teacher, and writer. He was an instructor at the University of Wisconsin from 1936 to 1939 and at the Armour Institute of Technology from 1939 to 1947. Hayakawa was an important semanticist. His first book on the subject, Language in Thought and Action (written in 1938) was a Book-of-the-Month Club selection in 1941. It is currently in its fifth edition and has popularized general semantics.
He was a lecturer at the University of Chicago from 1950 to 1955; and an English professor at San Francisco State College (now called San Francisco State University) from 1955 to 1958. He became president of San Francisco State College during the turbulent period of 1968 to 1973, becoming president emeritus in 1973 and then wrote a column for the Register & Tribune Syndicate from 1970 to 1976.
He was elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1976, defeating incumbent Democrat John V. Tunney. Hayakawa served from January 3, 1977 to January 3, 1983, not standing for reelection in 1982.
Hayakawa founded the political lobbying organization U.S. English, which is dedicated to making the English language the official language of the United States.
The Senator was a resident of Mill Valley, California until his death in Greenbrae, California in 1992.
Last updated: 05-17-2005 17:34:43