Leonard Broom, 98, died November 19th, 2009, in Santa Barbara where he lived for the past 29 years.
Born on November 8th, 1911, in Boston, Massachusetts, Broom was a distinguished professor of sociology in a career spanning seven decades and was a research associate at UCSB in recent years. In 1941, he was the second sociologist appointed to UCLA’s newly established department of sociology and anthropology. During his 19 years at UCLA, he was the chair of department (1952-57) and editor of the American Sociological Review (1955-57). His early research on the effects of US internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII made him an early critic of that policy and shaped his life-long interest in social inequality and discrimination against minorities. In 1955, Broom co-authored (with Philip Selznick, UC Berkeley) one of the first and most successful textbooks in sociology. He was Ashbel Smith Professor of Sociology (1959-71) and chair (1959-66) of the department of sociology at The University of Texas at Austin where he established a strong population research program. He then became a research fellow (1971-76), honorary fellow (1977-79), and professor emeritus at The Australian National University (from 1977) where he became an active and influential voice in the development of sociology in Australia.
Leonard Broom is survived by his wife of 69 years Gretchan Cooke Broom, son Karl Broom, daughter Dorothy Broom, and five grandchildren.