Robert L. Kahn, Research Scientist Emeritus in the Institute for Social Research, Professor Emeritus of Psychology, and Professor Emeritus of Health Services Management and Policy died January 6, 2019 at the age of 100.
Professor Kahn received his B.A. degree in English in 1939, his M.A. degree in 1940, and his Ph.D. in Social Psychology in 1952, all from the University of Michigan.
Professor Kahn is internationally recognized for his research on organizations and as a survey research methodologist. His Social Psychology of Organizations, published in 1966, redefined the field of organizational psychology and inspired future research in the field by other investigators.
In 1948, he joined the Institute for Social Research (ISR) as a study director and was appointed as a lecturer in the Department of Psychology. Professor Kahn was promoted to assistant program director in 1951 and was selected as the Director of the Survey Research Center at ISR from 1968-1976.
He retired from active faculty status in 1988, but he continued to focus on his research. In 1991, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and in 2002 to the National Academy of Medicine, two of the nation’s most prestigious scholarly and scientific societies. At the age of 80, Kahn and several collaborators were charged by the MacArthur Foundation with analyzing research on aging, leading to their publication of Successful Aging.
Professor Kahn is survived by his three daughters, Judith K. Munger and Marcia Kahn Wright of Madison, Wisconsin, and Janet R. Kahn of Burlington, Vermont; four grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
--Contributed Patricia Reuter-Lorenz, Psychology Department Chair, and the Institute of Social Research, based on a U-M retirement memoir.