Tufte, Edward R.

Tufte, Edward R. (Rolf)

(1942–  ) political scientist, statistician, information designer; born in Kansas City, Mo. After taking his Ph.D. at Yale (1965), he taught public policy at Princeton (1967–71), then joined the faculty at Yale (1971) where he became a professor of political science and statistics (1977). In addition to publishing various specialized monographs in his field, such as Political Control of the Economy (1978), he became more widely known as a pioneer proponent of using graphs, charts, diagrams, and other visual elements—on both the printed page and computers—to convey significant information with more clarity. In furtherance of this he started his own firm, Graphics Press, to publish his own handsomely designed books, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (1983) and Envisioning Information (1990), in which scientific and aesthetic elements combine to advance his ideas about making the complex more comprehensible.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.