ICPSR mourns passing of former Interim Director and Council member Halliman H. Winsborough

The ICPSR community mourns the passing of former ICPSR Interim Director and Council member Halliman Winsborough, who passed away on Sept. 5, 2018, at the age of 86.

Winsborough was the Emma Welsch Conway-Bascom Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he taught and conducted research for 33 years. He was also an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

According to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Sociology, "Hal received his PhD in 1960 from the University of Chicago (a student of Otis Dudley Duncan). He came to UW-Madison (from Duke University) as a Professor of Sociology in 1967. He was the second Director in CDE’s history, following Norman Ryder. In 1967, he wrote and was the Principal Investigator for the first NIH ‘center grant’ awarded to CDE, which, among other things, supported a separate computing facility for CDE. Fifteen years later, as the computing facility grew and began to serve a broader range of scholars, he transformed it into the Social Science Computing Cooperative (SSCC), which remains an important collective resource supporting social science research at UW today. Along with Karl Taeuber and Bob Hauser, Winsborough oversaw preparation of public use files of the 1940 and 1950 U.S. population censuses. His own research focused on a range of topics at the core of sociology and population science, including social stratification, racial segregation, the growth of cities and suburbs, and developing new statistical tools. In addition to his administrative and research contributions, Hal was known for being an exceptional teacher and mentor. He became Professor Emeritus of Sociology in 2000."

Winsborough joined the ICPSR Council in April 1996, serving as Council Chair during the 1998-2000 Council cycle. In 2000, he stepped in as Interim ICPSR Director for six months, filling in for departing ICPSR Director Richard Rockwell. Winsborough was also instrumental in establishing ICPSR as a separate center within ISR in 1998.

File photo of Hal Winsborough

Many in the ICPSR community remember Winsborough for his leadership during transitional times at ICPSR, and his hand in the creation of ICPSR as we know it today.

David Featherman, Director of the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research from 1995 to 2005, recalled that “Hal served as chair of the ICPSR Council and partnered with me as ISR director in transferring ICPSR from the Center for Political Studies (CPS) into its stand-alone reality, after considerable negotiation over a formal agreement and space.”

“Hal provided crucial support for ICPSR after Richard Rockwell’s departure,” remembered Archivist Emeritus Peter Granda, who retired as Associate ICPSR Director in 2017. “He was a great person to work with and his easygoing style served us well during the time before Myron Gutmann became director.”  

“Hal was a great help to ICPSR during difficult times and made singular contributions across a number of dimensions at ICPSR,” said Archivist Emerita Mary Vardigan, who retired in 2015 as an Assistant Director at ICPSR.

Winsborough received ICPSR’s Warren E. Miller Award for Meritorious Service to the Social Sciences in 2005. The award recognized Winsborough as “one of the great institution-builders of the social sciences,” and a key figure behind the growth and development of the Population Studies Center at Duke University, the Center for Demography and Ecology (CDE) at the University of Wisconsin, and the University of Wisconsin Survey Center. It was noted that he “launched a battle of independence of ICPSR from the Center for Political Studies, which gave ICPSR much greater influence within ISR.”

A remembrance gathering for Hal Winsborough will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, in the Premier Room at Capitol Lakes, 333 W. Main St., Madison, WI 53703.


Contact: Dory Knight-Ingram


Sep 11, 2018

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