Carol Gilligan was born in New York on November 28, 1936. She attended Swarthmore College for her undergraduate degree in English Literature, graduating summa cum laude in 1958. She quickly moved onto a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology at Radcliffe College. In 1961 she earned her MA, and also married Jim Gilligan, a medical doctor-in-training. After she graduated from Harvard with a Ph.D in social psychology in 1964 she began a teaching position at the University of Chicago for two years, had three children, and moved back to Harvard in 1967. She was a member of the Harvard faculty for over 30 years and in 1997 became Harvard's first professor of Gender Studies, occupying the Patricia Albjerg Graham chair. Her landmark book In A Different Voice (1982) is described by Harvard University Press as "the little book that started a revolution." Following In A Different Voice, she initiated the Harvard Project on Women's Psychology and Girls' Development and co-authored or edited five books with her students. Following her research on women and girls' development, she studied young boys and their parents and explored impasses in man-woman relationships. The Strengthening Healthy Resistance and Courage in Girls programs, the Women Teaching Girls/Girls Teaching Women retreats, and the In Our Own Voices workshops she developed with her colleagues have become model intervention and prevention projects. Gilligan has received a Senior Research Scholar Award from the Spencer Foundation, a Grawemeyer Award for her contributions to education, and a Heinz Award for her contributions to understanding the human condition. In 1992, she was Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at the University of Cambridge. In 2002, she became University Professor at New York University, with affiliations in the School of Law, the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Her 2002 book, The Birth of Pleasure, was described by The Times Literary Supplement as “a thrilling new paradigm.” Her first novel, Kyra, was published by Random House in 2008.
"Trust what you know. Listen to yourself."