Perkinson was appointed to NYU’s School of Education in 1962 and retired in 1996. A professor of education, he grew interested in the ways that media influenced knowledge and shared those interests with students in the school’s media ecology program. Perkinson was the author of sixteen books, including The Imperfect Panacea: American Faith in Education 1865-1965 (McGraw Hill, 1968); Since Socrates: Studies in the history of Western educational thought (Addison-Wessley, 1980); No Safety in Numbers: How the Computer Quantified Everything and Made People Risk-Aversive (Hampton Press, 1996); and Getting Better: Television and Moral Progress (Transaction, 1996).
Perkinson was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard University, where he earned an Ed.D. in 1959. He was named the School of Education’s Professor of the Year in 1980 and received NYU’s Distinguished Teaching Medal in 1991.
He is survived by his children, Anthea, Aleta, Amelie, Ariel and Sam — all graduates of NYU — and his grandchildren: Olivia, Isabel, Nathaniel, Peter, Jeannine, Aidan, Liam, Dylan, Brendan, Connor and Cassidy.