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Leo Goodman

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Leo A. Goodman
Born(1928-08-07)August 7, 1928
DiedDecember 22, 2020(2020-12-22) (aged 92)
CitizenshipUnited States
Alma materSyracuse University, Princeton University
Known forSocial statistics, Goodman and Kruskal's lambda, Goodman and Kruskal's gamma
AwardsR. A. Fisher Lectureship (1968)
Wilks Memorial Award (1985)
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Chicago, University of California, Berkeley
Doctoral advisorJohn Tukey, Samuel S. Wilks

Leo Aria Goodman (August 7, 1928 – December 22, 2020) was an American statistician. He was known particularly for developing statistical methods for the social sciences, including statistical methods for analyzing categorical data and data from statistical surveys.


Goodman was born in Brooklyn. He attended Stuyvesant High School[1] and he then went on to earn his AB degree summa cum laude from Syracuse University in 1948, majoring in mathematics and sociology.[2] He was class valedictorian. He moved to Princeton for postgraduate work in mathematical statistics, receiving his masters and doctorate in 1950.[2]


Goodman began his career in 1950 at the University of Chicago, where he would stay, save for a number of visiting professorships, until 1987.[2] Since 1987, he has been Class of 1938 Professor in the Sociology Department and the Statistics Department at the University of California, Berkeley.[2]

Awards and distinctions[edit]

He was elected as a Fellow of the American Statistical Association in 1956,[3] a member of the American Academy of Sciences in 1973, a member of the United States National Academy of Sciences in 1974,[4] and a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1976.[5]

Personal life and death[edit]

He was married to Ann Davidow; the marriage ended in divorce. He and his ex-wife had two children and were godparents to Sylvia Plath's first child, Frieda Hughes.[6]

Goodman died from COVID-19 during the COVID-19 pandemic in California.[7]


  1. ^ Risen, Clay (2021-02-17). "Leo Goodman, Who Transformed Sociology With Stats, Dies at 92". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-02-18.
  2. ^ a b c d Becker, M. P. (2009). "A Conversation with Leo Goodman". Statistical Science. 24 (3): 361–385. arXiv:1010.0310. doi:10.1214/08-sts276. S2CID 88512370.
  3. ^ View/Search Fellows of the ASA Archived 2016-06-16 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 2016-07-23.
  4. ^ "Leo A. Goodman". www.nasonline.org. Retrieved 2022-07-25.
  5. ^ "APS Member History". search.amphilsoc.org. Retrieved 2022-07-25.
  6. ^ Anwar, Yasmin (2021-01-15). "Leo Goodman, trailblazer in statistics and social sciences, dies at 92". Berkeley News. Retrieved 2021-02-18.
  7. ^ ‘A giant in his field’: UC Berkeley professor emeritus Leo Goodman dies at 92

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