SPSS, the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences) has been developed by three students at the University of Stanford ( Norman H. Nie, C. Hadlai (Tex) Hull and Dale H. Bent), after graduation N. Nie moved to the University of Chicago, joined by Hull (National Opinion Research Center). Initially not meant for distribution outside their home university, the publication of the first manuel made SPSS widely known and used. Initially developed for IBM mainframe computers, versions for most other important mainframe brands (Univac, CDC, Honeywell...,) and later for so-called minicomputers (like DEC, PR1ME,....) were available. SPSS Inc. was the founded in 1975. In 2009 IBM acquired SPSS; it is now fully integrated into the IBM Corporation Business Analytics Software portfolio.He received a Ph.D. in political science in 1971 from Stanford, and is now Honorary Faculty Emeritus in Political Science from the same university. While a graduate student at Stanford, he work with Sidney Verba (his PhD supervisor) to analyze surveys from seven nations, the reason why SPSS has been developed initially. Norman Nie is still a very active political scientists and has published, alone and with others (namely Sidney Verba) several landmark books, namely Nie, Verba, Petrocik, John R. The Changing American Voter 1979 (enlarged 1999); Participation and Political Equality: A Seven-Nation Comparison (Sidney Verba, Norman H. Nie, Jae-On Kim);Participation in America: Political Democracy and Social Equality 1987 (Norman H. Nie and Sidney Verba).
Before Microsoft Windows became the dominating platform on PCs, there was also a SPSS-PC version for MS-DOS, a simplified version of the full SPSS, with an interactive, MS-DOS based user interface.