In Memoriam: William Alexander Darity Sr., 1924-2015

Obit Darity William_1Williams Alexander Darity Sr., professor emeritus of public health and the founding dean of the School of Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, died on November 29. He was 91 years old.

Dr. Darity was a native of East Flat Rock in North Carolina. He was a graduate of Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Professor Darity earned a master’s degree in public health from North Carolina Central University in Durham. He then spent a decade working for the World Health Organization. In 1964, he was the first African American to earn a doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Professor Darity joined the faculty at the University of Massachusetts in 1965. He became dean of the School of Health Sciences when it was established in 1973.


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  1. Many of us will remember Bill Darity from our years together in Amherst MA. We worked together on programs that affected the University of Mass. and the Town of Amherst. He will be missed.

    John Spencer
    Emeritus Professor of Architecture
    Hampton University

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