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Posted by Cathy Gowdy on Wednesday, February 08, 2006 at 07:33:50 :

San Francisco Chronicle
Friday, June 29, 2001

Irving Babow
by Mark Martin, Chronicle Staff Writer

Irving Babow, a sociologist whose ground-breaking research on suicidal youth was cited in numerous textbooks and journals, died June 13 in Novato at the age of 87.

Born in Kiev, Ukraine, Professor Babow immigrated to Chicago as an infant. His family later moved to San Francisco and he graduated from Lowell High School in the late 1920s.

He received a bachelor's degree in social theory and a doctorate in sociology from the University of California at Berkeley. Professor Babow did his most well-known work at Napa State Hospital from 1965 to 1970.

There he did extensive research on teenagers who had attempted suicide.

By speaking directly with the youths, Professor Babow gleaned important information about tendencies that led to suicidal impulses. He presented his findings at conferences around the world.

Other research positions included working for the U.S. Public Health Service in San Francisco and directing research for a cancer patient study by the American Cancer Society. He investigated discrimination against minorities in housing, employment and recreational opportunities in the 1950s for San Francisco's Council of Civic Unity.

Professor Babow was a faculty member at UC Berkeley from 1954 to 1963 and at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo from 1971 to 1978.

During World War II, Professor Babow was regional director for the Bay Area chapter of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith.

His wife, Frances, died in 1995. He is is survived by his daughter, Robin Rowe of Boone, N.C.

Services have been held. Donations in Professor Babow's name may be sent to the Hospice of Marin, 150 Nellen Ave., Corte Madera, CA 94925.

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