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George Gallup was a pioneer in the field of opinion polls, which produces an estimate of popular opinion based on statistical methods. He was born on November 18, 1901, in Jefferson, Iowa, and received all his higher education at the University of Iowa, from which he obtained bachelor`s, master`s and doctoral degrees.
He founded the American Institute of Public Opinion, which became known informally as the Gallup Poll. In 1936, he not only correctly predicted the outcome of the election of 1936, in which Franklin D. Roosevelt overwhelmingly defeated Alf Landon, he also analyzed the failure of Literary Digest, whose poll had pointed to Landon as the winner.
He died on July 26, 1984, in Switzerland. His son, George Gallup Jr, continued his work for many years.
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The Averaged American: Surveys, Citizens, and the Making of a Mass Public by Sarah E. Igo.
Americans today "know" that a majority of the population supports the death penalty, that half of all marriages end in divorce, and that four out of f...