On June 5, 1940 Jamaican-born renowned American historical and cultural sociologist Orlando Patterson was born in Westmoreland, Jamaica. Patterson grew up in May Pen, Clarendon. He is well known for his work regarding issues of race in the America, as well as the sociology of development, and currently holds the John Cowles chair in Sociology at Harvard University.
Earlier in his career, Patterson was concerned with the economic and political development of his home country, Jamaica. He served as special advisor to Michael Manley, Prime Minister of Jamaica, from 1972 to 1979.
Patterson is known for his work on the relationship between slavery and social death, which he has worked on extensively and written several books about.
Patterson has appeared on PBS and has been a guest columnist in The New York Times. A recent article in the latter, “The Real Problem With America’s Inner Cities,” used the lens of developmental sociology to analyze recent protests and looting in West Baltimore.