Lloyd A. Free

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Lloyd Arthur Free

Birthplace: San Jose, Santa Clara County, California, United States
Death: November 11, 1996 (88)
Immediate Family:

Son of Arthur M. Free, U.S. Congress and Mabel Carolyn Free
Brother of Gerald Monroe Free; Geraldine Littlepage Fletcher; Maj. Herbert William Free and Robert George Free

Occupation: Pollster
Managed by: Tamás Flinn Caldwell-Gilbert
Last Updated:

About Lloyd A. Free


Lloyd A. Free (29 September 1908 — 11 November 1996) was a pollster that worked with Hadley Cantril and the Institute for International Social Research (IISR).

Lloyd was born in San Jose, California, son of Arthur M. Free, a six-term Congressman. He was a campaign manager for his father, and studied at Princeton University, graduating as valedictorian of the Class of 1930. He went to George Washington University to study law, then transferred to Stanford University where in 1934 he obtained the Bachelor of Law.

Most of Free’s career looked beyond his native land: In 1931 he taught political science at Yenching University. Then he served as commentator in the London, England radio studios of BBC and CBS. Returning to Princeton, for two years he taught in the School of Public and International Affairs. He became an editor of Public Opinion Quarterly and conducted opinion polls in Brazil.

In the war against Hitler, Free joined the Foreign Broadcast Monitoring Service. He counted references to specific military units mentioned in propaganda broadcasts and made accurate inferences about enemy offensive movements.

After the war he assisted UNESCO in their communication operations before continuing similarly with the State Department. On February 11, 1946, he married Elsbeth Studer.

He and Hadley Cantril established the Institute for International Social Research. They did opinion polling in France, Nigeria, Japan, Thailand, and the Philippines, publishing the results, frequently as an Institute publication.

In 1968 they published The Political Beliefs of Americans which reported their finding that "Americans were not divided so much among themselves as within themselves with the same people professing a belief in a small, low-tax government while at the same time professing support for a wide range of big, expensive government programs." This study is "cited by analysts trying to explain what often seems to be a political impasse in efforts to balance the Federal budget."

Free was a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the World Association for Public Opinion Research.

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Lloyd A. Free's Timeline

September 29, 1908
San Jose, Santa Clara County, California, United States
November 11, 1996
Age 88