Ralph Gomes, a professor of sociology at Howard University in Washington, D.C., died on March 16. He was 82 years old.
A proud native of Guyana, Dr. Gomes received a bachelor’s degree from the Inter-American University in San German, Puerto Rico. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and a Ph.D. from Pennsylvania State University. In 1960, Dr. Gomes represented his native country of Guyana as a middle-distance runner in the Summer Olympics in Rome, Italy.
Dr. Gomes began his career in 1971 at Howard University as a lecturer in what was then the department of sociology and anthropology. He quickly moved on to become an assistant professor in 1973. In 1974, Dr. Gomes wrote the proposal and successfully advocated for the establishment of what remains the only Ph.D. program in sociology at an HBCU. He served on the Howard University faculty for 49 years. Dr. Gomes co-authored the book From Exclusion to Inclusion: The Long Struggle for African American Political Power (Praeger, 1991).