Gerald Pomper was born in the Bronx, New York, in 1935 to Jewish parents who had emigrated from Poland. He grew up in Midtown Manhattan and graduated from Stuyvesant High School.
Dr. Pomper attended Columbia University on a Ford Foundation scholarship. He majored in political science and served as managing editor of the newspaper.
After receiving his bachelor's degree in 1955 from Columbia, Dr. Pomper went to Princeton University, where he earned his master's in 1957 and doctorate in 1959 under Stanley Kelley.
Dr. Pomper began his career in academia at the City College of New York. In 1962, Dr. Pomper came to Rutgers University and taught in the political science department at Rutgers College.
In 1965, when Dean Ernest Lynton formed the planning committee for what was to become Livingston College, Dr. Pomper joined as the founding chair of the political science department. In the first session of his oral history, Dr. Pomper discusses the founding principles of Livingston College and describes the initial years of Livingston after the college opened in 1969 as Rutgers-New Brunswick's first coeducational undergraduate college. In the second session, Dr. Pomper analyzes the early years of Livingston College, the centralization of academics and administration at Rutgers-New Brunswick, and his career development and notable publications.
In a career at Rutgers that has spanned over five decades, Dr. Pomper has written or edited nineteen books, chaired a select committee that proposed major changes in undergraduate education at Rutgers-New Brunswick, and held Fulbright or visiting professorships at Tel-Aviv University, Oxford and Australian National University. A specialist in American elections and politics, Dr. Pomper is Board of Governors Professor of Political Science at the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers.