Lynton K. Caldwell, the “grandfather of biopolitics,” was born in Montezuma, Iowa on November 21, 1913. He received his Bachelor of Philosophy in English with honors in 1935, M.A. in 1938 from Harvard University, Ph.D. in 1943 from the University of Chicago, and honorary LLD in 1977 from Western Michigan University.
From 1939-1944 he served an assistant professor of Government at Indiana University, South Bend. From 1944-1965 Caldwell continued teaching and researching at multiple universities including the University of Chicago, Northwestern, Michigan, Oklahoma, Syracuse and Uc Berkeley. In 1952 and 1953 he was part of U.N. sponsored missions in public administration in Colombia, the Philippines, and Japan. His next one-year U.N. appointment was as co-Director of the Public Administration Institute for Turkey and the Middle East in Ankara, Turkey. Indiana University then appointed him director of the Institute of Training for Public Service and Coordinator of Indonesian and Thailand Public Administration Programs. By the time of his retirement, further appointments, research and lecture tours and vacations had enabled him to visit nearly one hundred countries around the world as well as every state in the union. In 1965 he returned to Indiana University Bloomington where he became a professor of Political Science and of Public and Environmental Science, remaining until his retirement in 1984. Over his career, he was the internationally acclaimed author or coauthor of fifteen books and more than 250 scholarly articles.
Professor Caldwell was credited with initiating environmental policy studies and as the originator of the environmental impact statement in the 1969 National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). He was recognized internationally as one of the early leaders in the study of environmental policy, law and administration, and his work influenced the course of national legislation in the environmental protection movement. Caldwell also was part of the committee which established the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University in 1972.
In 1971, Caldwell was named the Arthur E. Bentley Chair in Political Science. He served on numerous boards and committees throughout his career, including the Commission on Environmental Policy, Law, and the Administration of the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN); the International Environment Programs of the National Academy of Sciences, and the Natural Areas Advisory Committee at Indiana University. He was also a recipient of the William E. Mosher Award (1963), the Laverne Burchfield Award (1972), and the Marshall E. Dimock Award (1981).