Early Life



Purpose of Site

Biography of Gordon Allport
Early Life
Growing Up
Late Life

His Work
Pattern and Growth in Personality

His Theories
Concept of Trait

The Propium
Human Nature
The Study of Values

Further Information
Other book titles

Gordon Willard Allport was born in Montezuma, Indiana, on November 11, 1897 to his parents John Edwards and Nellie Edith (Wise) Allport.  Gordon was the youngest of four boys.  His father was a country doctor and his mother was a school teacher.  Shortly after Gordon turned six, the family moved to Cleveland, Ohio.  He attended the Cleveland public schools for his early education.  He grew up not only with the Protestant religion, but also the Protestant work ethic, which dominated his home life:

Dad was no believer in vacations.  He followed rather his own rule of life, which he expressed as follows: "If every person worked as hard as he could and took only the minimum financial return required by his families needs, then there would be just enough wealth to go around." (Allport, 1967: Hjelle, Ziegler p. 172).


His father, due to the inadequate hospital facilities, was forced to turn their home into a makeshift hospital.  Patients were being housed as well as nurses in the Allport home.  "Tending office, washing bottles, and dealing with patients were important aspects of my early training (Allport, 1967: Hjelle, Ziegler p. 172)."

 During his teenage years Allport ran his own printing business while serving as editor of his high school newspaper.  He graduated second in his class at Glenville High School in 1915 at the age of eighteen with scholarships that allowed him to attend Harvard College (Hevren).  Prior to attending Harvard, he performed military duties during the First World War.