Biderman, Albert D. 1923-2003

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BIDERMAN, Albert D. 1923-2003

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born July 10, 1923, in Paterson, NJ; died of injuries resulting from a fall June 16, 2003, in McLean, VA. Social scientist and author. Biderman was a social-science researcher who was particularly noted for his contributions to the analysis of social indicators. After serving in the U.S. Army in Europe during World War II, and in a government post in Germany immediately after the war, he completed his undergraduate work in economics at New York University. This was followed by a master's degree in 1952 and a Ph.D. in 1964 in sociology at the University of Chicago. Biderman's first job was as a sociology instructor at the Illinois Institute of Technology from 1948 to 1952. For the next five years he worked as a research social psychologist for the U.S. Air Force. Most of his work social science research, however, was accomplished during his nearly thirty years—from 1957 to 1986—at the Bureau of Social Science Research in Washington, D.C. Biderman had the ability to open old issues to renewed examination with a fresh approach. For example, his March to Calumny: The Story of American POW's in the Korean War (1963) reveals that, contrary to opinion at the time, American POWs did not collaborate with the North Koreans. He was also one of the first researchers to use victim self-reporting in order to determine more accurate crime statistics. He wrote about crime in such books as An Inventory of Surveys of the Public on Crime, Justice, and Related Topics (1972) and Understanding Crime-Incidence Statistics: Why the UCR Diverge from the NCS (1991). He was also the author, coauthor, or editor of several other books, including The Manipulation of Human Behavior (1961) and Data Sources on White-Collar Law-Breaking (1980). After retiring from the Bureau of Social-Science Research, Biderman was a research professor of justice at American University.



Washington Post, June 21, 2003, p. B6.