Professor Robert A. Ellis, 87, of Savannah died at the Savannah Square Health Center Friday August 9, 2013
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Born in Hudson, N.Y., he grew up in Washington, D. C. He was the son of the late Lawrence L. and Jean H. Ellis.
A graduate of Suffield Academy, he attended Yale University where he was a senior editor of the Yale Daily News. After receiving a B.A. in Psychology, he stayed on at Yale and received an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Sociology. Before entering college, he served in the Army for two years where he rose in rank from private to second lieutenant.
He came to the University of Georgia in 1972 as Professor and Head of the Department of Sociology. In 1981, he was appointed Franklin Professor of Sociology for his outstanding contributions to scholarship and to the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. He retired in 1992 as Head Emeritus of the Department of Sociology and Franklin Professor Emeritus of Sociology.
Before joining the faculty of the University of Georgia, he was Professor and Head of the Department of Sociology at the University of Maryland. In prior years, he was Professor of Sociology and Director of the Center for Research in Occupational Planning at the University of Oregon; and earlier held faculty positions at Stanford University, Michigan State University, and the University of Southern California.
During his career, he was recipient of research grants and fellowships from numerous organizations, including the Ford Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, National Institute of Mental Health, Office of Education, Air Force Office of Behavioral Science Research, and the Social Science Research Council. Publications resulting from these researches, which focused on social stratification and social mobility, have been widely cited by his peers in the profession, with one study reporting him to have been one of the twenty-two most-cited influential in American sociology during the late 1960s.
He took an active part in professional activities at the national and regional level, where he held numerous positions of responsibility and served on the editorial boards of many national and international journals. He also was a member of the Census Advisory Committee on Population Statistics for the U. S. Census and served as consultant to many organizations, including the Council of Graduate Schools, the Canadian Social Sciences Research Council, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Mental Health, and the Harvard University Center for Research in Careers. His name was listed in Who's Who in America as well as other biographical directories.
He was a former member of the Athens Country Club and elected to membership in the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco, the Cosmos Club, in Washington, D.C., the Torch Club, and the Gridiron Secret Society.
He was preceded in death by one son, Roger Morgan Ellis. Survivors include his loving wife, Dorothy Godin Ellis; a son, Rob Ellis; a daughter-in-law, Debra Randolph Ellis; two grandchildren, Rachel Ellis and Robert A. Ellis III; and a brother-in-law, Gary Godin, of West Olive, Michigan.
A reception for family and friends will be held at the Oglethorpe Club Tuesday August 13th from 4:00 – 7:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be sent to Suffield Academy, 185 North Main Street Suffield, CT 06078 (www.suffieldacademy.org), or The
, 225 N. Michigan Avenue, 17th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601 (www,alz.org).
Fox and Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
Published in Athens Banner-Herald on Aug. 10, 2013