Arthur Ocean Waskow was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He is an American author, political activist, and rabbi associated with the Jewish Renewal movement. He received a bachelor's degree from The Johns Hopkins University in 1954 and a Ph.D. in American history from University of Wisconsin–Madison. He worked from 1959 to 1961 as legislative assistant to Congressman Robert Kastenmeier of Wisconsin. He was a Senior Fellow at the Peace Research Institute from 1961 through 1963. He joined Richard Barnet and Marcus Raskin and helped to found the Institute for Policy Studies in 1963, and he served as Resident Fellow until 1977. Waskow has taught as a Visiting Professor in the religion departments of Swarthmore College. In 2014 he was honored by T'ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights with its first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award as a Human Rights Hero.