He graduated from San Mateo (California) High School. An Eliot House resident, he was active in music while at Harvard as a member of the Harvard-Radcliffe Orchestra and the Pierian Sodality; he received his A.B. in 1961. After a year at the Free University in Berlin under a Fulbright fellowship, he joined the staff of the Ford Foundation in New York. He went to the University of Minnesota for his graduate training in population, completing his M.A. in sociology in 1967 and his Ph.D. in 1973.
In 1968 he was part of a Ford Foundation program to develop support in population planning in nine countries served by the field office in Nairobi, Kenya. From there he went to the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii, where he did international education and research on population communication.
He retired in 1996 after more than twenty years as project officer and communications specialist with the World Bank, managing health and nutrition initiatives in Africa and Asia.
He was an avid photographer of wildflowers and traveled throughout the United States and abroad in pursuit of beautiful blooms.
He was survived by his wife, Ingeborg (Schirmer); two daughters, Karen Aylward and Claudia; a son, Jon; two sisters, Molly Smart and Susan Hendrick; and five grandchildren.