Who was he: Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian and US academic, philosopher and educator during the 20th century, has been called "One of the most charismatic, controversial and original thinkers of our time whose remarkable perception propelled him onto the international stage... universally regarded as the father of communications and media studies and prophet of the information age." His work is often considered a cornerstone of the study of media theory, applications of which have been applied to advertising and television.
McLuhan coined the expressions "the medium is the message" and "the global village," and is credited with predicting the Internet well before it was invented. In The Gutenberg Galaxy: The Making of Typographic Man (1961) McLuhan conveyed the idea that "communication technology affects cognitive organization, with profound ramifications for social organization."
McLuhan became widely known through his book Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man, published in 1964, a pioneering study in media theory that focused on media effects that permeate society and culture, introducing the idea of a ratio between the physical senses and the consequences of modifications to that ratio, including a psychological dimension. Some of his many other publications include The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects (1967), From Cliché to Archetype (1970) and the widely popular War and Peace in the Global Village (1968).
Background: Herbert Marshall McLuhan was born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada July 21, 1911. He attended University of Manitoba, earning a B.A. In 1932 and M.A. In 1934, and Cambridge University, from which he earned a B.A. In 1936, M.A. In 1939 and Ph.D. In 1942.
Marshall McLuhan taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 1936 to 1937 and St. Louis University, Assumption University (Windsor, Ontario), and St. Michael's College at the University of Toronto, where he became a full professor in 1952.
McLuhan chaired the Ford Foundation Seminar on Culture and Communication from 1953 to 1955, co-edited Explorations magazine 1954 to 1959, and was Director of the Project in Understanding New Media for the National Association of Educational Broadcasters and US Office of Education 1959 to 1960. In 1963 McLuhan was appointed by the President of the University of Toronto to create a new Centre for Culture and Technology to study the psychic and social consequences of technologies and media. Marshall McLuhan was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and Companion of the Order of Canada, and received honorary degrees from nine universities and numerous awards in social sciences, humanities and culture, including aVatican appointment as Consultor of the Pontifical Commission for Social Communications in 1973. McLuhan also served as Schweitzer Chair in the Humanities at Fordham University.
Herbert Marshall McLuhan died on December 31, 1980.