Charles Bryce Perrow
1925 - 2019
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Perrow, Charles Bryce
Yale Professor Charles Bryce Perrow, best known as "Chick," died peacefully in his sleep on Tuesday, November 12, 2019 at home in Whitney Center at age 94. Chick was born Feb. 9, 1925 in Tacoma, Washington. Chick served in WWII in the 10th Mountain Division Ski Troopers. He attended the experimental Black Mountain College in NC before getting his undergraduate degree and PhD from Berkeley (1953, 1960). After teaching at the University of Michigan, he went on to hold positions at the University of Pittsburgh, University of Wisconsin, and SUNY Stony Brook. In 1981, he joined Yale and became Emeritus in 2000. Chick was a giant figure in the world of organizational sociology and is best known for his six books and more than fifty articles examining bureaucracies, capitalism and complex systems. His most widely-acclaimed book, Normal Accidents (1984), has been cited more than 12,000 times. As emeritus professor, he held visiting positions at Stanford's Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Sciences, Stanford's Center for International Security and Cooperation, and at the University of Bologna. In retirement, Chick remained an active member of Yale's and Stanford's sociology community. Famed for his analytic mind, Perrow accumulated multiple fellowships, awards, elected offices and honors in his lifetime. Earlier this year, Chick was awarded the Distinguished Career Award from the American Sociological Association. Chick is survived by his loving wife Barbara Cooley Wareck Perrow. His first wife, Edith Lichtenberg, passed away in 1994. Chick is also survived by two children Nicholas and Darragh Perrow, two grandchildren Alexa and Samantha, step-children James, John, and Anne Wareck, and 6 step-grandchildren. Donations should be made in lieu of flowers, to:
Reader Supported News (RSN), PO Box 2043, Citrus Heights, California 95611 or online at A memorial service is being planned for Spring, 2020.

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Published in The New Haven Register on Nov. 25, 2019.
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December 9, 2019
Chick Perrow was passionate about his academic work and about the work of the students who were influenced by him. He importantly brought together an understanding of how organizations are essential elements in the exercise of power and he applied his insights and knowledge across a number of important contexts. He was enthusiastic about his own work and those of his students, and he often championed the work that they were doing while he was developing his own ideas. I was a student of his while he was at the University of Wisconsin from which I graduated. Like many of his students, I maintained a professional relationship with him through his years at Stony Brook and then after he went to Yale. I treasure our many conversations and for his ongoing influence on our understanding of critical issues.
Nancy DiTomaso
November 26, 2019
Chick was my greatest mentor and teacher. I met him as an undergraduate sociology student at Pitt in the '60s. He brought me into a new world and helped me transition out of Pittsburgh to a new life of knowledge-seeking and knowledge-building. He was such a great inspiration. I am sorry for all who have lost him, but I am grateful his suffering has ended; it was so hard to hear of it in our email exchanges.

Bill Cabin, JD, PhD, MA, MSW, MPH
Bill Cabin
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