Judith Tanur was born to Edward Mark and Libbie Berman Mark on August 12, 1935 in Jersey City, NJ. When Tanur was young, her family moved from New Jersey, where she was born, to Great Neck, New York. She graduated from Great Neck High School in 1953 and entered Antioch College, studying psychology and statistics there, but in 1955 she transferred to Columbia University, in part because it was closer to the University of Pennsylvania where her future husband was studying dentistry. At the same time, she took a job at the New York State Psychiatric Institute. Tanur completed a bachelor's degree in psychology in 1957 and began graduate studies at Penn, but became pregnant and dropped out. Eventually, she returned to graduate school, completed a master's degree in mathematical statistics from Columbia University in 1963, and took a new job as an editor for William Kruskal at the International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences. She became a lecturer at Stony Brook in 1968, still only holding a master's degree, and later completed her Ph.D. in sociology at Stony Brook.
In 1980 she was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association. She is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a winner of the Founder's Award of the American Statistical Association, and the 2006 winner of the Geoffrey Marshall Mentoring Award of the Northeastern Association of Graduate Schools.
- Faculty profile, Stony Brook University, retrieved 2016-09-24.
- "Birth Notice 1 -- no Title." New York Times (1923-Current file), Aug 14 1935, p. 19. ProQuest. Web. 23 July 2018
- "United States Census, 1940," database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/3:1:3QSQ-G9MB-MS7D?cc=2000219&wc=QZXR-XQN%3A790105101%2C796860801%2C805451201%2C954107901 : accessed 3 August 2018), New York > Nassau > North Hempstead Town > 30-279 North Hempstead Town outside Great Neck, Great Neck Estates, and Saddle Rock Villages bounded by (N) Great Neck Village limits; (E) Great Neck Village limits; (S) Great Neck Estates Village limits; (W) Saddle Rock Village limits > image 4 of 6; citing Sixteenth Census of the United States, 1940, NARA digital publication T627. Records of the Bureau of the Census, 1790 - 2007, RG 29. Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012.
- Biele, Jessie (September 1, 2012), "Judith Tanur: A Woman of Many Hats", Statisticians in History, Amstat News.
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- View/Search Fellows of the ASA, accessed 2016-09-24.