Herbert Spencer

By Simon Egolf

Background Information

Herbert Spencer was born in Derby, England on April 27, 1820. He was the eldest of 9 children but he was the only child to survive infancy. As a child his opinions were strongly influenced by his dad and his uncle. He first went to college to be a civil engineer but eventually became more interested in journalism and political writing. In his earlier writings he supported radicalism and defended individual rights. He was very important with the development of the evolutionary theory and his contributions were on par with Charles Darwin. He lived a mostly private and secluded life due to mental health problems and in the two decades leading up to his death his health problems greatly deteriorated. He died on December 8, 1903 following a long illness.

10 Facts/Contributions