John Augustus Larson

Inventor from United Kingdom,United States of America

John Augustus Larson was a police officer of the Berkeley Police Department, California, United States, and famous for his invention of modern polygraph used in forensic investigations. He was the first American police officer having an academic doctorate and to use polygraph in criminal investigations. After famed career in criminal investigation, he died of heart attack in Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 72. Larson was born in Shelburne, Nova Scotia, Canada, of Nordic parents. His family moved to New England in his early childhood, and his parents soon divorced. He studied biology at the Boston University earning his degree through doing odd jobs to support himself, from being a busboy, paperboy, stonecutter to elevator operator. In 1915 he earned his master degree with a thesis on fingerprint identification. This work inspired his interest in forensic science and eventually landed him at the University of California, Berkeley, from where he obtained his Ph.D. in physiology in 1920 He joined the Berkeley police force in 1920. Upon learning the deception test based on blood pressure developed by William Moulton Marston, he was immediately instilled to include pulse, respiration  ( Wikipedia article )


Personal facts

Date of birth
Place of birth
Shelburne County
United Kingdom,United States of America


Institution From To
University of California, Berkeley
Boston University


Date of death
Place of death

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