Kruskal, William, 1919-

Alternative names
Birth 1919-10-10
Death 2005-04-21

Biographical notes:

William Henry Kruskal was born on October 10, 1919 in New York City to Joseph Bernard and Lillian Rose (Vorhaus) Kruskal. He received an S.B. (1940) and an M.S. (1941) from Harvard University and a Ph.D from Columbia University (1955).

From 1941 to 1944 Kruskal served as a mathematician for the U.S. Naval Proving Ground. This was followed by a term as vice president of Kruskal and Kruskal, Incorporated in New York from 1946 to 1948. In 1950 Kruskal joined the faculty of the University of Chicago. He became a professor of statistics there in 1962, and was honored as the Ernest DeWitt Burton Distinguished Service Professor in 1973. In addition to these duties, Kruskal was the chair of the department of statistics from 1966 to 1973 as well as the Dean of the Division of Social Sciences for a total of nine years. Kruskal also spent some time teaching at other universities including the University of California, Berkeley (1955-1956) and Harvard University (summer 1959).

Active in public and professional associations, Kruskal was president of both the American Statistical Association and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics, and was editor of the Annals of Mathematical Statistics and the International encyclopedia of Statistics. He was a National Science Foundation Senior Postdoctoral Fellow (1970-1971), a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow, and founding chairman of the Committee on National Statistics.

In 1988-1989, Kruskal was dean pro tempore of the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. His research interests within statistics include graphical methods, history of statistics, linear hypothesis theory, measures of association, representative sampling, and the relative importance of independent variables. His research interests related to public policy include census errors, evaluation of research, measurement, and statistics in public controversy.

Kruskal married Norma Jane Evans on August 23, 1942. The couple had three children—Vincent Joseph, Thomas Evan, and Jonas David.

From the guide to the Kruskal, William. Papers, 1964-1973, (Special Collections Research Center University of Chicago Library 1100 East 57th Street Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.)


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