An Adams House resident at Harvard, he received his A.B. in 1962.
He served in the National Guard for five years and then worked for a time for Liberty Mutual Insurance Company in Boston before entering the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he earned an Ed.D. in the sociology of education in 1977.
While pursuing his doctorate he began a collaboration with Marian Wright Edelman, LL.D. '91, at Harvard's Center for Law and Education on the project that later became the Children's Defense Fund; when the CDF moved to Washington, DC, he and his family followed.
As director of research for the Children's Defense Fund for more than three decades, he provided the statistical and analytic underpinning of many of the group's influential publications on social service policy and contributed research to most of Edelman's books. He designed the survey for the group's first study, "Children Out of School in America" (1974), which led to enactment of today's Individuals With Disabilities Education Act. He retired in 2007.
He was survived by his wife of forty-five years, Judith (Dun); a daughter, Margaret; and a son, Matthew.