Dr. Emory Stephen Bogardus was the founder of the Department of Sociology and the School of Social Work, Dean Emeritus of The Graduate School at the University of Southern California, and world-renowned authority on "social distance". Begun in 1926 and completed in 1967, Dr. Bogardus' monumental study of "social distance" involved interviewing more than 8000 persons to survey cultural and ethnic attitudes in the U.S. Rated as the only project of its kind ever undertaken, the lengthy study resulted in the development of the famed Bogardus Ethnic Distance Scale, used the world over. With the help of professors from 25 colleges and universities, persons were interviewed in 1926, 1946, 1956, and 1966. Conclusions of the study were that brotherhood and sympathetic understanding had increased progressively during that 40-year period.
A native of Belvedere, Ill., Bogardus was born on February 21, 1882, and earned his A.B. (1908) and A.M. (1909) from Northwestern University and his Ph.D. (1911) from the University of Chicago. He had been accorded honorary Degrees by USC, the University of Arizona, the University of Redlands and Boston University.
Dr. Bogardus was invited to join the faculty of USC in 1911. The invitation came from Warren Bovard, then President of USC. Serving for 42 years as a fulltime faculty member or administrator, Dr. Bogardus continued in retirement to have an office on the USC campus and to visit it at least once a week until a few months before his death in August 1973. Dr. Bogardus founded USC's Department of Sociology in 1915 and the University's School of Social Work in 1921. He was the first Dean of the School of Social Work and the second Dean of The Graduate School, where he is credited with having made significant contributions to solid graduate education. In addition to serving for a number of years as USC's University Editor, Dr. Bogardus is remembered as the founder of the Journal of Sociology and Social Research, which he edited for forty-five years, and was editor emeritus from 1961-73. He also was the founder of Alpha Kappa Delta, National Honor Society in Sociology. Dr. Bogardus was a charter member of USC's chapter of Phi Kappa Phi, all-University honor society which was founded in 1924. A member of many local and national professional societies, Dr. Bogardus contributed hundreds of articles to national journals in his field, dealing with such subjects as social theory, race relations, social research methods, personality and leadership, cooperatives, community organization, social control, social welfare and social work, and public opinion. He was the author of more than 24 books, some of which have been used as texts. A number were translated into several foreign languages including Chinese and Japanese. During his later years he wrote several books of poems, specializing in sonnets.
Dr. Bogardus died in Los Angeles on August 21, 1973.