Small was nearly universally accepted and liked by his colleagues,friends, students, and administrators. Becker finds this characteristica key to understanding Small's sociological vision,  for Smallwanted to serve humanity and strove for fairness and justice inhis relationships and social thought.
Born in 1854 in Buckfield, Maine, he was largely responsible forthe development of sociology at the University of Chicago andultimately throughout the nation. In 1879, he studied historyin Germany which established the basis for his lifelong interestin Germanic social thought, government, and economics. He wastrained in both the ministry and history, and he served as presidentof and history professor at Colby College from 1889-1892. Committedto social change and wedded to many Victorian and religious ideals,Small reflected the strains between a desire for ethical reform,the then-modern world, and objective science. 
After his appointment by Harper to open the first Graduate Departmentof Sociology in 1892, Small became a major figure in defininga special area of expertise for sociology. He hired all of theChicago faculty studied here and established a strong positionfor them in the newly founded university. In addition, he wasadministratively adept at organizing the profession into powerfulalliances. For example, in 1905 he was a charter member of theAmerican Sociological Society and served as its president fortwo terms, in 1912 and 1913. Similarly, he founded the AmericanJournal of Sociology (AJS) in 1895, quickly establishingit as the foremost journal in the discipline. Its major editorialstaff and contributors were Chicago faculty, students, and associates.Small was its editor from 1895 to 1935, so he directly intervenedin accepting articles that reflected his vision and control ofthe emerging discipline. 
Small set several scholarly precedents as well. With his formerstudent and later colleague, George E. Vincent, Small co-authoredone of the most influential introductory textbooks in sociology. His two primary interests, ethical reform and economic organization,were later ignored by his successors at Chicago, and as a resulthe has been traditionally defined as a weak and relatively unimportantscholar. 
Profoundly disillusioned by World War I, aging and in ill health,his last years at the University of Chicago were spent in a withdrawalfrom many of the department's and discipline's politics and leadership.Small, nonetheless, was a formative figure in establishing sociologyas an academic specialty and in building a powerful institutionalbasis for it. After a period of academic neglect, his scholarlywork is being reconsidered and reevaluated, providing a new basisfor broader understandings of his leadership and influence.
51. Ernest Becker, The Lost Science of Man (New York:Braziller. 1971). pp. 3-4.
52. Faris, Chicago Sociology, p. 153; Becker, The LostScience of Man, pp. 3-21.
53. Harper decided between Small and Richard Ely, a close colleagueto Addams. The decision for Small led sociology in a less politicaldirection than the choice of Ely would have. See Diner, "Departmentand Discipline," pp. 515-21; Faris, Chicago Sociology, pp. 12, 120.
54. Albion W. Small and George E. Vincent, An Introductionto the Study of Society (New York: American Book, 1894).
55. Faris, Chicago Sociology, p. 153. A review of thesestatements is found in chapter 4. nn. 16-20 below.
From Mary Jo Deegan, Jane Addams and the Men of the Chicago School, 1892-1918.New Brunswick NJ: Transaction Books, 1986, pp. 17-18.