Burris Frederic Skinner was born on March 20th, 1904 in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania. His mother, Grace M. Burrhus, was a stenographer and a secretary, in a law office and later in a railroad chief executive’s office. His father, William A. Skinner, was an attorney, who studied law with another local attorney at a New York Law School. Skinner’s parents were both good students. His father had bought several sets of books, so there was a lot of reading material their children. Skinner said that his parents never used physical punishment, except for the time they washed his mouth out with soap for bad language. (Ulrich, 997)
B. F. Skinner was very adventurous child. He lead a 300 mile canoe trip down the Susquehanna River when he was only 13 years old. He was a natural inventor and he loved build things. One of his inventions included a device that automatically reminded him to hang up his pajamas in the morning. He played the saxophone in a jazz band during high school and played piano until his failing eyesight made it hard for him to read the music. In college, he was very independent, and sometimes even a prankster. He graduated from Hamilton College in 1926 and later received his P. h. D. in psychology at Harvard University.