Russell Jacoby (born April 23, 1945) is a professor of history at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) an author, and critic of academic culture. His fields of interest are Twentieth Century European and American intellectual and cultural history specifically the history of intellectuals and education. In 2009, he was appointed to the Moishe Gonzales Folding Chair of Critical Theory. A documentary, Velvet Prisons: Russell Jacoby on American Academia, premiered at the 'Humanity Explored' Online Film Festival.
He was born in New York City and educated at the University of Chicago and University of Wisconsin–Madison. Jacoby received his Ph.D. in 1974 from the University of Rochester.