Pitirim Alexandrovich Sorokin (January 21, 1889, Turja north of Syktyvkar, Yarensk uyezd, Vologda Governorate (now Knyazhpogostsky District, Komi), Russian Empire – February 11, 1968, Winchester, Massachusetts) was a Russian American sociologist born in modern-day Komi (Finno-Ugric region of Russia). An academic and political activist in Russia, he emigrated from Russia to the United States in 1923. In 1930 at age 40, Sorokin was personally requested by the president of Harvard University to accept a position there. At Harvard, he founded the Department of Sociology. He was a vocal critic of his colleague Talcott Parsons. Sorokin was an ardent opponent of communism, which he regarded as a "pest of man." He is best known for his contributions to the social cycle theory.