William Goode Dies

Posted: May 14, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

William Josiah Goode, 86, affiliate professor of sociology at George Mason and former president of the American Sociological Association, died unexpectedly on May 4. Married to Lenore Weitzman, Robinson Professor of Sociology and Law, Goode was the author of 20 books and more than 80 articles on topics ranging from “Religion Among the Primitives” (1951) to “World Changes in Divorce Patterns” (1993). At the time of his passing, Goode was an emeritus professor of sociology at Stanford University.

The father of three was best known for his pioneering cross-cultural analysis of marriage and divorce. His work included a pathbreaking monograph, “World Revolution and Family Patterns” (1963), which analyzed data from more than 50 countries.

Born in Houston, Texas, Goode was encouraged by his high school debating coach and future president Lyndon Johnson. He attended Rice Institute and the University of Texas, Austin, and served in World War II as a radar man on an attack transport ship in the Pacific. He joined the faculty at Columbia University in 1950 and taught there for the next 27 years, also serving as chairman of the sociology department. In 1977, he became a professor of sociology at Stanford University, and in 1986, joined the sociology department at Harvard University. He also served as a visiting professor at the newly opened Free University of Berlin in the spring of 1954, a distinguished guest lecturer in China for the Chinese Academy of Science in 1986, and a visiting professor of sociology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem from 1991 to 1992.

Known as Si to his friends, Goode was often referred to as a “renaissance man” because he excelled in a wide range of activities, including painting, sculpting, sailing, tennis, and birding. The Goode family is planning a ceremony at the Columbarium of Arlington National Cemetery as well as a fellowship named in his honor. More information will be announced later.

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