The History Department Remembers Professor Emeritus J. Rogers Hollingsworth (1932-2019)
Throughout his career, Hollingsworth had a broad interest in socio-economics and comparative research. He became actively involved with the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics, and he was honored to be elected President in 1996. He authored studies on diverse topics including American and European political economies, nation and state building, comparative health services, American hospitals, and American politics. More recently, he became interested in the study of research organizations and scientists in basic biomedical science, and what organizational, cultural, and individual factors foster excellence.
One of four children, Hollingsworth was born in the small town of Anniston, Alabama where his father was a local businessman. He received a B.A. from Emory University, and in 1960 a Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago where he worked with Walter Johnson in American politics, Dan Boorstin in intellectual history and William H. McNeil on western civilization.
His first academic appointment was at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He joined the faculty of the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 1964 in the Department of History, and in 1985 he was appointed to the Sociology Department. In 1995 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Uppsala, Sweden, and he received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Emory University in 1997.
Throughout his career, he collaborated with many other scholars in diverse fields. He was a visiting scholar at Trinity and St. John’s Colleges at Cambridge University, and at organizations in the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden, and he presented his research in Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, and the Middle East.
In 2000, Hollingsworth retired from the University of Wisconsin and further expanded his research into scientific creativity, interviewing scientists about their scholarship. This work led him to a visiting appointment at the Neurosciences Institute in La Jolla, California.
Hollingsworth is survived by his sister Lenora Brownlee, his wife of 62 years Ellen Jane Hollingsworth, their daughter Lauren, and grandchild Dashiell. In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor can be made to The Rockefeller University.