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Dan W. Dodson

Biography: 

Dan W. Dodson (1907-1995) was a sociology professor and long-time critic of segregation in education. A native of Panther's Chapel, Texas, and the son of a sharecropper, Dodson completed his undergraduate studies at McMurray College in Abilene, Texas. He later received a graduate degree from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. In 1936 Dodson joined the Educational Sociology Program at New York University and, but for a short period of leave, remained affiliated with the university until his retirement in 1972. He also served as director of New York University's Center for Human Relations Studies. In 1944 Dodson began a four-year stint as the executive director of Mayor Fiorello La Guardia's Committee on Unity, which La Guardia formed to deal with intergroup conflicts. A report that Dodson produced while serving on the Committee on Unity was credited with ending the practice of using quota systems to admit Jewish, Catholic, and black students to universities in New York. Dodson also helped author integration plans for public schools in Washington and elsewhere. In addition, he worked with Branch Rickey, president of the Brooklyn Dodgers, on plans to break the color barrier in baseball, encouraging the Yankees and Giants to follow the Dodgers' lead after Jackie Robinson took the field in 1946. Dodson returned to Texas and settled in Austin upon his retirement.

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