Commentary, Sociology

Peter H. Rossi, 1921-2006

jacket imagePeter H. Rossi, distinguished sociologist and author, died Saturday at his home in Amherst, MA, where he was professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Massachusetts. In the 1980s Rossi carried out an extensive study of homelessness in Chicago, which formed the empirical basis of his groundbreaking work Down and Out in America: The Origins of Homelessness published by the University of Chicago Press in 1990. His study offered a powerful explanation of the causes of homelessness and documented the striking contrasts between the homeless of the 1950s and 1960s and the homeless population that emerged in the 1980s, which was younger and included more women, children, and minorities.
Rossi is also remembered among the University of Chicago community as former faculty member in the department of sociology and a former director of the National Opinion Research Center where his research ushered in a “golden age” of survey analysis.