Richardson, Stephen A. 1920-

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Richardson, Stephen A. 1920-


Born June 24, 1920, Yorkshire, in England; U.S. citizen; son of Lewis Fry (a scientist) and Dorothy (a teacher) Richardson; married Peggy Black, May 27, 1945 (deceased); married Marion Schmidt (a physical therapist), February 20, 1983; children: David, John, Kate, Beth Shrieve. Education: Harvard University, B.S. (magna cum laude), 1949; Cornell University, M.S., 1951, Ph.D., 1954. Politics: Democrat. Religion: Society of Friends (Quakers). Hobbies and other interests: Playing the clarinet, single sculling, reading.


Home—Exeter, NH. E-mail—[email protected]


Sociologist, psychologist, educator, and writer. Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, research associate at Social Science Research Center, 1951-56; Association for the Aid of Crippled Children, New York City, assistant director, 1956-61, acting executive director, 1961-62, assistant director, 1962-64, director of research, 1964-68; University of London, London, England, visiting scholar, 1968-69; Yeshiva University, Bronx, NY, professor of pediatrics, epidemiology, and social medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, 1969-85, professor emeritus, 1985—, director of social ecology research unit and senior investigator at Rose F. Kennedy Center for Research in Mental Retardation and Human Development, 1970-85. Also Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, fellow, 1954-55; University of Aberdeen, affiliate of Institute of Medical Sociology, 1974-85. Work-related activities include National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, chairperson of Task Force on Psychosocial Deprivation and Social-Emotional Development, 1968; Easter Seal Foundation, member of board of trustees, 1971-74; New Alternatives for Children, member of board of directors, 1980-94; Institute for Physical Fitness Research, member of board of directors, 1983-86; Free Romania Foundation, member of national advisory board, 1991—; past member of research advisory committees for American Foundation for the Blind and for Planned Parenthood; Quaker United Nations Program, past member of advisory committee. Peoples Symphony Concerts, member of board of directors, 1959-84; consultant to World Health Organization. Military service: British Merchant Service, 1937-46.


International Organization for the Study of Human Development, American Sociological Association (fellow), Society for Research in Child Development, American Association of Mental Deficiency, Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi.


Pfizer Visiting Professor, Royal Society of Medicine, 1986; award for outstanding psychological research, National Association for the Dually Diagnosed, 1987.


(Contributor) Renato Tagiuri and Luigi Petrullo, editors, Person Perception and Interpersonal Behavior, Stanford University Press (Stanford, CA), 1958.

(Contributor) James D. Thompson and others, editors, Comparative Studies in Administration, University of Pittsburgh Press (Pittsburgh, PA), 1959.

(Contributor) Herbert G. Birch, editor, Brain Damage in Children: The Biological and Social Aspects, Williams & Wilkins (Baltimore, MD), 1965.

(With Barbara Snell Dohrenwend and David Klein) Interviewing: Its Forms and Functions, Basic Books (New York, NY), 1965.

(Editor, with Alan F. Guttmacher) Childbearing: Its Social and Psychological Factors, Williams & Wilkins (Baltimore, MD), 1967.

(Contributor) D.A. Goslin, editor, The Handbook of Socialization Theory and Research, Rand McNally (New York, NY), 1968.

(With Herbert G. Birch and others) Mental Subnormality in the Community: A Clinical and Epidemiological Study, Williams & Wilkins (Baltimore, MD), 1970.

(Editor, with Michael J. Begab, and contributor) The Mentally Retarded and Society, University Park Press (Baltimore, MD), 1975.

(Contributor) L. Levi, editor, Society, Stress, and Disease, Volume II: Childhood and Adolescence, Oxford University Press (London, England), 1975.

(Contributor) R. Walsh and W. Greenough, editors, Environment as Therapy for Brain Dysfunction, Plenum (New York, NY), 1976.

(Author of foreword) A. Birenbaum and S. Seiffler, Resettling Retarded Adults in a Managed Community, Praeger (Westport, CT), 1976.

(Contributor) Michael J. Begab, R.B. Edgerton, and K.T. Kernan, editors, Environments and Behavior: The Adaptation of Mentally Retarded Persons, University Park Press, 1983.

(With Helene Koller) Twenty-two Years: Causes and Consequences of Mental Retardation, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, MA), 1996.

Lost and Found: The Search for My Family, Book Guild (Lewis, England), 2001.

Contributor of more than seventy articles and reviews to academic and medical journals, including Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, Research in Developmental Disabilities, Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, and American Journal on Mental Retardation. Associate editor, Human Organization, 1947-66, and Australia and New Zealand Journal of Developmental Disabilities, 1983-86.


In his book Lost and Found: The Search for My Family, Stephen A. Richardson recounts his search for his biological parents, which he began when he was in his fifties. Through official records and meetings with government officials and others, the author eventually began to find out more and more information about his biological relatives, eventually getting in touch with a biological aunt and then other biological family members. However, the author still is unable to uncover much information about his father, except that there may be some secrets about him that some of Richardson's biological aunts will not reveal.

Richardson has also been a contributor to numerous books concerning medicine, psychiatry, and the mentally disabled. He collaborated with Helene Koller to write Twenty-two Years: Causes and Consequences of Mental Retardation, which focuses on the epidemiology and individual characteristics of young Scottish people with mental retardation. The book is a follow-up study of 221 cases of children born with mental retardation between 1951 and 1955 in the city of Aberdeen.

Richardson told CA: "Almost all my writing has been a part of my career as a researcher. Now that I am retired, I continue to write because it is an activity that seems to have become part of my life.

"Before becoming a research worker, I was at sea for nine years, and I kept a diary that spans World War II. I also wrote some articles and tried to write a play.

"I am an adopted person. During the past fifteen years I have been searching for my biological family. Now I have written an account of the search and what I found."



Choice, September, 1997, review of Twenty-two Years: Causes and Consequences of Mental Retardation, p. 222.

Contemporary Sociology, March, 1998, Jane R. Mercer, review of Twenty-two Years, p. 209.

Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, February, 1998, Candida Fink Agee, review of Twenty-two Years, p. 237.


Harvard University Press Web site, (February 21, 2008), overview of Twenty-two Years and brief profile of author.

Trans-Atlantic Publications Web site, (February 21, 2008), overview of Lost and Found: The Search for My Family.

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Richardson, Stephen A. 1920-

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