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Obituary: David Ernest Apter ’50

David Ernest Apter '50 passed away from cancer complications on May 4, 2010. He was the Henry J. Heinz Professor Emeritus of Comparative Political and Social Development and Senior Research Scientist at Yale University.

He taught at Northwestern University, the University of Chicago (where he was the Executive Secretary of the Committee for the Comparative Study of New Nations), the University of California (where he was Director of the Institute of International Studies), and Yale University, where he held a joint appointment in political science and sociology and served as Director of the Social Science Division, Chair of Sociology, and was a founding fellow of the Whitney Humanities Center.

He was a Guggenheim Fellow, a Visiting Fellow at All Souls College in Oxford, a Fellow of the Institution of Advanced Study at Princeton, a Fellow of the Center for Advanced Study in Behavioral Science in Palo Alto, a Fellow of the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study, as well as a Phi Beta Kappa Lecturer. In 2006, he was the first recipient of the Foundation Mattei Dogan prize for contributions to interdisciplinary research. While he is the author or co-author of ten books, perhaps his most seminal work is "The Politics of Modernization" (University of Chicago, 1965), an analysis of the daunting development problems new nations face. His book "Choice and the Politics of Allocation" received the Woodrow Wilson Foundation award for the best book of the year on government, politics, or international affairs.