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Lawrence Lessig
Lawrence Lessig May 2017.jpg
Born June 3, 1961 (1961-06-03) (age 60)
Education B.S. in management
B.A. in economics
M.A. in philosophy
Juris Doctor in law
Alma mater Wharton School
Trinity College, Cambridge
Yale Law School
Occupation academic and political activist
Employer Harvard University
Known for Founder, Creative Commons
Founder, Rootstrikers
Founder, Stanford Center for Internet and Society
Title Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard University
Professor of law at Harvard Law School
Spouse(s) Bettina Neuefeind

Lawrence "Larry" Lessig (born June 3, 1961) is an American academic and political activist. He is known for his work in reducing legal restrictions on copyright, trademark and radio frequency, and helped create the free culture movement. He has been an activist against the Second Amendment and created the Second Constitutional Convention.

Early life

Lessig was born in Rapid City, South Dakota, the son of Patricia, who sold real estate, and Lester L. "Jack" Lessig, an engineer. He grew up in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. He studied at the Wharton School, at Trinity College, Cambridge, and at Yale University. For a year, he worked as a clerk in Chicago.



Lessig started his academic career at the University of Chicago Law School, where he was Professor from 1991 to 1997. From 1997 to 2000, he was at Harvard Law School, holding for a year the chair of Berkman Professor of Law, affiliated with the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. He subsequently joined Stanford Law School, where he established the school's Center for Internet and Society.

Lessig returned to Harvard in December 2008 as Professor and Director of the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics. In 2013, Lessig was appointed as the Roy L. Furman Professor of Law and Leadership; his chair lecture was titled "Aaron's Laws: Law and Justice in a Digital Age." In 2013, Lessig was also awarded an honorary doctorate by the Faculty of Social Sciences at Lund University, Sweden.

Political activism

Lessig is currently considered politically liberal. As a law clerk, however, he worked for both Judge Richard Posner and Justice Antonin Scalia, two influential conservative judges.

Lessig has emphasized in interviews that his philosophy experience at Cambridge radically changed his values and career path. Previously, he had held strong conservative or libertarian political views.

2016 presidential campaign

In August 2015, Lessig announced that he was exploring a possible candidacy for President of the United States in the 2016 election. On September 6, 2015, Lessig announced that he would run for the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. Almost two months into the campaign trail, poor polling numbers and not being qualified to enter the debates, Lessig dropped out on November 2, 2015.

Personal life

Lessig is married to Bettina Neuefeind. He is the father of three children (Willem, Teo, and Tess).

(includes Lessig blog 2002–2009)
(Presidential Campaign site)

Lessig Blog, beyond 2009

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