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Issue 471, 228 October 2001


Professor Eugene Grebenik

Professor Eugene Grebenik died on 14 October 2001.

Professor Grebenik graduated from the University of London with first class honours in economics in 1938 and was awarded the Farr medal and prize. He gained his MSc in1941. Following brief appointments with the National Income Inquiry and at the University of Bristol, he was appointed assistant lecturer at the London School of Economics in 1940, being promoted to lecturer in 1944 and to reader in 1949. During a period of leave of absence from 1944-1946, Professor Grebenik initially served as a statistical officer with the Admiralty before transferring in September 1945 to the Secretariat of the Royal commission of population where he held the office of assistant director, family census.

Professor Grebenik came to Leeds in October 1954 as professor and had of the department of social studies in succession to Professor AN Shimmin. During the next fifteen years, he continued the work that won him an international reputation as a demographer, as reflected in his lengthy tenure of the offices of secretary-general of the international union for the scientific study of population and of joint (later managing) editor of Population Studies. Professor Grebenik also played a remarkably active part in the corporate life of the University. He was a dean of the faculty of economic and social studies from 1956 to 1958 and served on a very diverse range of committees, including, at various times, the academic planning committee, the board of extra-mural studies and standing committees on applications; developments; readerships; research degrees; and scholarships. Professor Grebenik was elected to serve as one of the Senate's representatives on the Council from 1965 to 1967. He also represented the University on a number of external bodies, including the central council of the federated superannuated system for universities (FSSU).

Professor Grebenik resigned from his post at Leeds in December 1969, to take up appointment as the first Principal of the newly estabished Civil Service College. A testimonial fund was established in his honour at that time, in order to acknowledge the very distinctive personal contribution he had made to the University. Professor Grebenik was created a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1976 and served as president of the British Society for Population Studies from 1979 to 1981.

The funeral was held at Oxford crematorium on Friday 19 October. It was requested that no flowers be sent, but donations can be made to the Parkinson's Disease Society, 215 Vauxhall Bridge Road, London, SW1V 1EJ.

Professor of Social Studies at Leeds 1954-1969 died on Sunday October 14, aged 82.

Grebenik was born in Kiev and came to England as a child. A graduate of LSE, he was Reader in Demography there when he came to Leeds to succeed Professor Shimmin as Head of the small Department of Social Studies. He quickly became known for his development of the Department and for his energetic roles in Faculty and Senate business and in the then elaborate Committee system; as 'Grebby' he was a University personality. He was also a demographer of international standing, familiar at professional meetings all over Europe and beyond. He was a key figure in the International Union for the Scientific Study of Population and a consultant to the Council of Europe and to the United Nations on population issues. He continued this active life after leaving the University to become the first Principal of the Civil Service Staff College. He also undertook advisory and editorial work for the Registrar-General. He retained to 1997 his association with 'Population Studies' after 50 years as Joint Editor and Editor since its foundation by David Glass in 1947. This busy professional life was skilfully woven into his happy family life and a wide circle of friends at home and abroad. Many today share happy memories of knowing and working with this lively, clever and amiable colleague.

Maurice Kirk
Life Fellow

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