Dr. Lucien Mason Hanks, Ph.D.

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Dr. Lucien Mason Hanks, Ph.D.

Birthplace: Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, United States
Death: December 23, 1988 (78)
Immediate Family:

Son of Lucien Mason Hanks, Sr. and Mary Esther Hanks
Husband of Dr. Jane Hanks, Ph.D.
Brother of William Vilas Hanks and Sybil Anna Hanks

Occupation: professor of psychology and anthropology at Bennington College, author, psychologist, educator, World War II he served as a psychologist for the Office of Strategic Services
Managed by: Jessica Marie German
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Immediate Family

About Dr. Lucien Mason Hanks, Ph.D.


1927- Dr. Lucien Mason Hanks died December 23, 1988 on the island of Barbados. He had been for many years a resident of North Bennington, VT. He was 78. Dr. Hanks was a noted anthropologist and retired professor at Bennington College. He served in the social sciences department at Bennington from 1942-1968. He was an authority on the peoples of Southeast Asia. A native of Madison, WI, after graduating from Berkshire, he took his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and his Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University.Dr. Hanks was a World War II veteran. He married the former Jane Richardson. He was remembered at a service held in Bennington last summer in his honor as, "a gentle, benevolent man. His mind was keen and imaginative. He thought well of most area folks and institutions and, in partnership with his wife,Jane, he supported more of each than anyone has before or is likely to in the future." Survivors include his wife; three sons, Peter Vilas Hanks of Lexington, MA, Tobias Richardson Hanks of Newton, MA, Nicholas Fox Walton Hanks of Washington, D.C.; and three granddaughters.

“Berkshire Bulletin; The Magazine of Berkshire School, Fall, 1989,” The Archives at Berkshire School, accessed June 28, 2021, http://berkshireschoolarchives.org/items/show/288.


Lucien M. Hanks was an American psychologist, educator and author. He was professor of psychology and anthropology at Bennington College.


Lucien M. Hanks was born on March 25, 1910, in Madison, Wisconsin, United States. He was a son of Lucien Mason and Mary Esther Hanks. He had a brother and a sister.


In 1931 Lucien M. Hanks received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin, and his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Columbia University in 1936.


Lucien M. Hanks began his career as a psychologist at Wisconsin State Prison, Waupun, Wisconsin, from 1936 to 1937. In 1937 he became an instructor in psychology at the University of Illinois, Urbana, and served until 1942. He joined the faculty at Bennington College, Bennington, Vermont, as an assistant professor in 1942, attaining the rank of full professor of psychology and anthropology, remaining in that position until his retirement in 1969.

He was also affiliated with the Southeast Asia Program of Cornell University (1952-1957), and during World War II he served as a psychologist for the Office of Strategic Services, Washington, D.C. (1943-1945).

His first book (with his wife, Jane Richardson Hanks) was Tribe under Trust (1948), followed by (as editor, with Jane R. Hanks and R. Lauriston Sharp) Ethnographic Notes on Northern Thailand (1965), Rice and Man (1972), Bang Chan: Social History of a Rural Community in Thailand (with Lauriston Sharp, 1978), and his last book, The Burma-Thailand Frontier over Sixteen Decades: Three Descriptive Accounts (with Constance M. Wilson, 1985).


Lucien M. Hanks is best known as the author of Rice and Man: Agricultural Ecology in Southeast Asia and co-author of Bang Chan: Social History of a Rural Community in Thailand. He received a Bronze Star for his services as a civilian in the Office of Strategic Services and a National Science Foundation grant.


Lucien M. Hanks was a member of the Association for Asian Studies, the American Anthropological Association, the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and the New England Psychological Association.


Lucien M. Hanks was married to Jane Richardson Hanks. They had a son, Tobias Richardson Hanks.

  • Father: Lucien Mason Hanks
  • Mother: Mary Esther Hanks
  • Spouse: Jane Richardson Hanks
  • Brother: William Vilas Hanks
  • Sister: Sybil Anna Hanks
  • Son: Tobias Richardson Hanks

Bibliographic information:



For sixty-three years members of the Hanks family have figured prominently in financial circles of Madison and Lucien Mason Hanks is president of the First National Bank of this city. He is a native of Madison and a representative of one of its old and highly respected families. He was born on June 27, 1868, and is a son of Lucien Stanley and Sybil (Perkins) Hanks, the latter of whom is deceased. The father is a native of Hartford, Connecticut, and is now living retired at Madison. He was born on May 8, 1838, and was educated in the Mount Washington Collegiate Institute of New York city. He came to Wisconsin in 1856 and secured a clerical position in a Janesville bank, where he was employed until March 12, 1860, when he joined the Madison State Bank, of which he was teller for three years. He was then made cashier and eventually became president of the institution, retiring from the office in 1920. He stood high in the esteem of his business associates and was regarded as an authority on matters pertaining to finance. His great-great-grandfather, Benjamin Hanks, was a native of England and to him was born a son, Benjamin, a native of Mansfield, Connecticut. He was the father of Truman Hanks, who in 1821 founded the Hartford Iron Foundry, later known as the Hanks & Woodruff Foundry, which manufactured the first brass cannon made in New England. Lucien B. Hanks, the son of Truman Hanks, was born in Hartford and continued the business founded by his father, until his death on December 1, 1890.

Lucien M. Hanks is one of a family of three sons. He attended the grammar and high schools of Madison and then entered the University of Wisconsin, from which he was graduated in 1889, with the degree of LL. B. He joined the Chi Psi fraternity during his college days and afterward spent a year as a student in the University of Berlin. On his return to Madison he entered his father's bank, with which he was identified for fifteen years, acting in the capacity of teller, and in 1906 aided in organizing the Central Wisconsin Trust Company, of which he was made president in 1909. In 1922 it was merged in the First National Bank and of this institution Mr. Hanks is the executive head.

Mr. Hanks was married on October 5, 1898, to Miss Mary Esther Vilas, a daughter of Senator William F. Vilas, and they have become the parents of three children:

William Vilas, a student at the University of Wisconsin; and

Sybil Anna and

Lucien Mason, Jr.

Mr. Hanks is a republican in his political views. He is a member of the Madison, Kiwanis, Black Hawk and Maple Bluff Clubs and also belongs to several bankers associations. Mr. Hanks is treasurer of the Red Cross, a director of the Madison anti-Tuberculosis Hospital, chairman of the advisory board of St. Mary's General Hospital and has been for many years local council of the Boy Scouts of America and is now a member of the National advisory board. During the World war he was chairman of the Liberty Loan Committee for Dane county.

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Dr. Lucien Mason Hanks, Ph.D.'s Timeline

March 25, 1910
Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, United States
December 23, 1988
Age 78
April 14, 1989
Age 78