Somit grew up in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He was educated at the University of Chicago, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1941 and his Ph.D. in 1947. He served as a professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo for 35 years, and as the university's executive vice president for the last 10 of them. On August 14, 1980, he became the 14th president of Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC). He stepped down from his position as president in 1987, whereupon the SIUC Board of Trustees named him a Distinguished Service Professor.
- "Albert Somit". Chancellor. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
- POLITICO Playbook: When impeachment meets a looming shutdown
- "Internships that preserve collections: A gift from Albert Somit". The University of Chicago Library News. 2013-11-18. Retrieved 2018-01-12.
- Biography at SIUC website
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