Silent Generation

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For the album, see The Silent Generation (album).

The Silent Generation is the demographic cohort following the G.I. Generation. There are no precise dates for when this generation starts or ends; demographers and researchers typically use starting dates ranging from the mid-to-late 1920s and ending dates ranging from the early-to-mid-1940s.


While there were many civil rights leaders, the "Silents" are called that because many focused on their careers rather than on activism, and people in it were largely encouraged to conform with social norms. Time magazine coined the term "Silent Generation" in a November 5, 1951 article entitled "The Younger Generation," and the term has remained ever since.[1][2][3] The name was originally applied to people in the United States and Canada but has been applied as well to those in Western Europe, Australia and South America. It includes most of those who fought during the Korean War. In the United States, the generation was comparatively small because the financial insecurity of the 1930s and the war in the early 1940s caused people to have fewer children.[2]

They have also been named the "Lucky Few" in the 2008 book The Lucky Few: Between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boom,[4][5] by Elwood D. Carlson PhD, the Charles B. Nam Professor in Sociology of Population at Florida State University.[6][why?]

Neil Howe writing for Forbes describes the Silent Generation as those born 1925–1941.[2] Pew Research Center defines the generation as being born from 1928 to 1945.[7]

Notable figures[edit]

The generation includes many political and civil rights leaders such as Elizabeth II, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Michael Dukakis, John McCain, Walter Mondale, Dick Cheney, Bernie Sanders, Robert F. Kennedy, Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Jim Bolger, Jacques Chirac, Jean Chretien, F.W. de Klerk, Malcolm Fraser, Mikhail Gorbachev, Bob Hawke, John Howard, Saddam Hussein, Helmut Kohl, Brian Mulroney, Ron Paul, Gloria Steinem, Margaret Thatcher, Boris Yeltsin writers and artists like Marilyn Monroe, Andy Warhol, Joan Baez, Gene Wilder, Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman , Little Richard, Ray Charles, Leonard Nimoy, William Shatner, Johnny Cash, Stephen Sondheim, James Brown, Leonard Cohen, Miles Davis, Sammy Davis Jr., The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Frank Zappa, Quincy Jones, Sean Connery, Elvis Presley, Richard Pryor, Dave Allen, Woody Allen, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin, Michael Caine, John Cleese, Bill Cosby, Jackie Mason, Joan Rivers, Flip Wilson, and the Beat Generation, Noam Chomsky and Richard Rorty.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "The Younger Generation", Time, November 5, 1951
  2. ^ a b c "The Silent Generation, "The Lucky Few" (Part 3 of 7)". Forbes. 30 July 2014. Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "The Silent Generation: Definition, Characteristics & Facts". Retrieved 21 October 2014. 
  4. ^ Carlson, Elwood (2008). The Lucky Few: Between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boom. Springer Science + Business Media B.V. ISBN 978-1-4020-8540-6. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Carlson, Elwood (2008). The Lucky Few: Between the Greatest Generation and the Baby Boom. Berlin: Springer Science and Business Media. p. 1. ISBN 978-1-4020-8540-6. 
  6. ^ Carlson, Elwood D. "FSU Faculty Bio". Florida State University. Retrieved 29 November 2012. 
  7. ^

External links[edit]