Robert Coldwell Wood

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For other people of the same name, see Robert Wood (disambiguation).
Robert Coldwell Wood
Robert C. Wood official portrait.jpg
2nd United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
In office
January 7, 1969 – January 20, 1969
President Lyndon B. Johnson
Preceded by Robert C. Weaver
Succeeded by George W. Romney
Personal details
Born (1923-09-16)September 16, 1923
St. Louis, Missouri, United States
Died April 1, 2005(2005-04-01) (aged 81)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Nationality American
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Margaret Byers Wood
Children Frank Randolph Wood
Frances Wood
Margaret Wood "Maggie" Hassan
Parents Thomas Frank Wood
Mary Bradshaw Wood
Residence Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Alma mater Princeton University
Harvard University
Profession Politician
Awards Bronze Star
Military service
Service/branch United States Army
Rank Sergeant
Battles/wars World War II

Robert Coldwell Wood (September 16, 1923 – April 1, 2005) was an American political scientist, administrator, and professor of political science at MIT. He led the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, the University of Massachusetts and the Boston Public Schools.

Early life and career[edit]

Wood was born on September 16, 1923 in St Louis, Missouri, the son of Mary (née Bradshaw) Wood and Thomas Frank Wood. He won a scholarship to Princeton University, interrupting his studies during World War II to serve in the U.S. Army. Wood saw action during Battle of the Bulge, won a Bronze Star, and rose to the rank of sergeant. After graduating from Princeton University, Wood earned three degrees from Harvard: a master's in public administration and a master's and a doctorate in government.[1]

Wood taught political science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1959 to 1965. From 1965 to 1969, Wood served as the Under Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

In 1968, Wood was awarded the Wiener Medal for Cybernetics from the American Society for Cybernetics, later that resignation of Robert C. Weaver, who was last year, and then later as the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (for 13 days) in the cabinet of President Lyndon B. Johnson.[clarification needed] Here he was involved in implementing the Model Cities program in 1966 and the Fair Housing Act in 1968.

He returned to MIT to teach and to direct the Joint Center for Urban Studies at MIT and Harvard. At the same time, he led the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). From 1970 to 1977 he served as president of the University of Massachusetts. While Wood served as president of the University of Massachusetts he led its expansion to include UMass Medical Center in Worcester and its Boston campus. He also played a key role in bringing the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum to its present site at Columbia Point, next to UMass-Boston.[1] He also taught at Wesleyan University.[2]

Personal life[edit]

Wood married the former Margaret Byers, on March 22, 1952. They had three children.[1] Wood died from stomach cancer, at his home in Boston, Massachusetts, on April 1, 2005.


Wood's best-known books are:

  • 1958. Suburbia: Its People and Their Politics
  • 1959. Metropolis against itself.
  • 1961. 1400 governments; the political economy of the New York metropolitan region. With Vladimir V. Almendinger.
  • 1972. The Necessary Majority: Middle America and the Urban Crisis
  • 1993. Whatever Possessed the President? Academic Experts and Presidential Policy, 1960-88.
  • 1995. Turnabout time : public higher education in the commonwealth. With Richard A. Hogarty and Aundrea E. Kelley.


  1. ^ a b c Professor, HUD chief Robert Wood dies. Sarah H. Wright, News Office. April 6, 2005. Retrieved 9 June 2008.
  2. ^

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Robert C. Weaver
United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
January 7 – January 20, 1969
Succeeded by
George W. Romney