I was born in Chicago, IL on April 18, 1928. Went to the Robert Emmet grammar school in Austin (a neighborhood of Chicago, and to two years of high school at Austin High School before starting, in 1943, as a freshman in the University of Chicago College, which I graduated from in 1946. I got a master's degree in sociology from Chicago in 1949 and a Ph. D, in 1951. I kicked around as what was then called a "research bum" for 14 years, doing research on marijuana use, medical students and college students, until I became Professor of Sociology at Northwestern University in 1965. I left there in 1991 to join the faculty of the University of Washington in Seattle, and retired from Washington in 1999. SInce then I've lived in San Francisco and now spend about three months a year in Paris as well.I've received a number of honorary degrees (from the Université de Paris 8, Université Pierre-Mendes France (Grenoble, France), Erasmus University (Rotterdam, Netherlands), and École Normal Superiure (Lyon, France).
As many people know, I was a professional piano player-in bars, strip joints, etc.--for some years before becoming an academic, and I continued to play for many years. That has showed up in my research and writing in a number of ways, most recently in the book I co-authored with Robert R. Faulkner called "Do You Know . . . ? The Jazz Repertoire in Action."
You can get more information and access to many of my articles on my web page: http://home.earthlink.net/~hsbecker/