Everett M. Rogers (March 6, 1931–October 21, 2004) was a communication scholar, sociologist, writer, and teacher. He is best known for originating the diffusion of innovations theory and for introducing the term early adopter.
Rogers was born on his family's Pinehurst Farm in Carroll, Iowa,
in 1931. His father loved electromechanical farm innovations, but was
highly reluctant to utilize biological–chemical innovations, so he
resisted adopting the new hybrid seed corn, even though it yielded 25%
more crop and was resistant to drought. During the Iowa drought of 1936,
while the hybrid seed corn stood tall on the neighbor’s farm, the crop
on the Rogers’ farm wilted. Rogers’ father was finally convinced.
Ames to visit Iowa State University.
Rogers decided to pursue a degree in agriculture there. He then served
in the Korean War for two years. He returned to Iowa State University to
earn a Ph.D. in sociology and statistics in 1957.