Leo Strauss, 1899 - 1973

By realizing that we are ignorant of the most important things, we realize at the same time that the most important thing for us, or the one thing needful, is the quest for knowledge of the most important things or the quest for wisdom.

— Leo Strauss

Biography

Leo Strauss was born on September 20, 1899, in Kirchhain, Hesse, Germany, a rural town outside the university city of Marburg, to Hugo and Jenny David Strauss. Hugo Strauss was a merchant in the grain and wool wholesaling business established by his father, Meyer, and a leading member of the local Jewish community.
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Introduction

Leo Strauss (1899–1973) was a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago from 1949 to 1969. He also held posts at the New School for Social Research, Claremont McKenna College, and St. John’s College in Annapolis. Born and educated in Germany, he studied and corresponded with some of Europe’s leading intellectual figures of the time.
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Featured Video

On a recent episode of Conversations with Bill Kristol, Harvard professor Harvey Mansfield discusses Leo Strauss and the “Straussian school” of philosophy he founded.