Born Oct. 29, 1919, in St. Louis Mo., Lasswell was raised in Kennett, in a pioneering Kennett family.
A precocious student, he graduated from Kennett High at 14 and received a BA in Classical Languages from Arkansas (now Lyon) College at 18, before joining the US Navy in 1940. In the Navy, he received a certificate of Engineering from Columbia University, and subsequently served in the Caribbean on a sub chaser with the Atlantic Fleet and, as the war came to an end, was transferred to Point Mugu Naval Air Station in California as acting Commandant.
Lasswell received an MS in Mathematics (1948) and a PhD in Sociology (1953), both from USC. During his lifetime, he also taught at Pomona High School, Pepperdine University, and Grinnell College. In 1959, he joined the USC faculty where he remained for the rest of his teaching career. During his tenure, he served as Chair of the Sociology Department, Director of the Marriage and Family Center, and head of the Resident Honors Program. Lasswell's interests were broad and he authored numerous textbooks and journal articles in Sociology and Architecture.
Lasswell is survived by daughters, M. Jane Hoff (Charles, deceased), Hilo, Hawaii, Julia Dunn (Mark), Los Angeles; son, Thomas Ely, Jr. (Barbara), Carson, Calif.; grandchildren, Jennifer, Long Beach, Calif., Thomas (Kami), San Pedro, Calif., Harold, Carson, and former wife Marcia, Los Angeles.
Arrangements for a memorial service will be announced.
Memorial donations may be sent to The Thomas and Marcia Lasswell Scholarship Fund at Lyon College. P.O. Box 2377, Batesville, Arkansas, 72503, or to Alzheimer's Society at alz.org.