Robert King Merton was born in Philadelphia. Educated at Temple and Harvard Universities, he was long on the faculty of Columbia University (1941-79), where he was associate director of the Bureau of Applied Social Research (1942-71). He is considered by many sociologists to be one of the most influential sociologists of all time. Among his contributions is the idea of self-fulfilling prophecy. The majority of his work focused in the realms of sociological criminology, where he devolped the structural-consensus Anomie Model of Crime. He and his partner from Columbia University, Paul F. Lazarsfeld, also worked vigorously to increase the scientific community's acceptance of sociology as a true science. He had a son, Robert C. Merton, Jr. who won a Nobel Prize in Economics.