You are here

Joseph Stycos. 1927 - 2016

Joseph Mayone Stycos died peacefully on June 24th at Kendal at Ithaca, NY.  

Born in 1927, Saugerties, NY, he graduated from Princeton in 1947 (BA honors) and received his PhD from Columbia University in 1954. In 1957 Professor Stycos launched his long and distinguished career at Cornell University in the department of Sociology. In 1962 he founded the International Population Program (IPP), subsequently renamed the Population and Development Program (PDP), and served as its director until 1992. These programs were supported by such organizations as the Population Council, the Ford Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. He also served as chair of Cornell's Department of Sociology (1966-1970) and as director of the Latin American Studies Program (1962-1960).

 

In 1988 he joined the Department of Development Sociology, retiring in 2000 as Professor Emeritus. Publications and Research grants have been a major part of Professor Stycos's professional work. Field research in Puerto Rico led to his frequently cited and reproduced book, Family and Fertility in Puerto Rico: A study of the Lower Income Group (1955). His later collaboration with Reuben Hill and Kurt Bach resulted in further publications including The Survey under Unusual Conditions: The Jamaica Human Fertility Investigation (1960). By the late 1960s his interest spanned the Western Hemisphere, as reflected in the books Human Fertility in Latin America: Sociological Perspectives (1968) and Ideology, Faith and Family Planning in Latin America (1971).

 

Professor Stycos produced six major research volumes, several monographs, and published more than a hundred and fifty articles on birth control, fertility, socio-psychological dimensions in husband-wife relations, and survey research. Most of his work focused on Latin America but he also published field research conducted in Egypt, India, China, Poland, Spain, Turkey and the United States. He served as a member of many national and international committees including Several National Institutes of Child Health and Development (NICHD), training and research boards on population (1965-69), the board of the Population Association of America (1968-71), Organization of American States (1968-71); as Trustee of the Population Reference Bureau (1964-68); and the Population Task Force, U.S. Commission for UNESCO (1972-73). He was also an active member of the IUSSP.

 

In the 1990s Professor Stycos turned his attention to population and environment. He joined the Planning Committee for Global Omnibus Environmental Survey of the Human Dimension of Global Environmental Change Programme (1993-99), chair in 1996), and (with Max J. Pfeffer), received grants from the USDA and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to carry out public opinion research on the environment in the New York City watershed. Numerous private and public organizations utilized Professor Stycos as a consultant, including The Population Council where he helped develop population research and training program in Latin America (late 1960’s/early 1970’s), followed by work with  the Rockefeller Foundation, The Margaret Sanger Research Bureau, UNESCO, USAID, UNFDA, U.N. Population Division and World Health Organization (WHO). Professor Stycos documented his publications with photographs taken during field trips. He published a remarkable record, Children of the Barriada (1970).

 

His lifelong pursuit of photography culminated in a collaboration with Cornell Capa on Margin of Life: Population and Poverty in the Americas (1974). His photographic work has been exhibited at Cornell University and Ithaca galleries. He was also known as an accomplished pianist and singer. His humorous compositions are well remembered.


He is survived by his wife, Maria Nowakowska Stycos, their son Marek (Beverly), and son Steven (Christine) and daughter Kristina from his previous marriage to Mary McGinnis; six grand children Mary, Patrick, Freya (Pier Giovanni), Wilder, Anna and Niko; great grandson, Romeo; three sisters-in-law Zofia, Wanda, Janice and a brother-in-law Jerzy; and six nephews and nieces, Andrzej, Pawel, David (Marie), DeAnna, Konrad and Dominik. Donations in his memory may be sent to the Population Association of America, the Population Council or for Parkinson's research.

English
Donate