Vern Bullough

On this date in 1928, Vern Bullough was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. He earned a B.A. in history and languages from the University of Utah in 1951, an M.A. in history from the University of Chicago in 1951, a Ph.D. in the history of medicine and science from the University of Chicago in 1954, and a B.S. in nursing from California State University at Long Beach in 1981. Bullough was a sexologist and historian, as well as a professor of nursing, sociology and history. He was Dean of the Faculty of Natural and Social Sciences at State University of New York at Buffalo, and was one of the founders of the Center for Sex Research at California State University. Bullough received numerous awards for his work, including the prestigious Kinsey Award in 1995. He was a strong supporter of civil liberties who worked with the ACLU and the NAACP. Bullough has published and edited numerous books, many co-written with his first wife, Bonnie Bullough, who was also a nurse and sexologist. Their collaborations include The Subordinate Sex: A History of Attitudes Toward Women (1973) and Sexual Attitudes: Myths and Realities (1995).

Bullough was co-president of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) from 1994-1997 and vice-president from 1997-1998, and he received a Distinguished Humanist Service Award from the IHEU in 1992. Bullough was an honorary associate of the Indian Rationalist Association, and also worked with the Humanist Academy. He is the author of the 1994 essay, “Science, Humanism, and the New Enlightenment.” D. 2006.

“[Vern Bullough] will be sorely missed as one of the leading secular humanists in North America and the world.” 

—Paul Kurtz, founder of the Center for Inquiry and Council for Secular Humanism, quoted on the IHEU website.

Compiled by Sabrina Gaylor and Bonnie Gutsch

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