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Arnold Auerbach (1911 - 1996)


Pioneering Contributions

Arnold J. Auerbach was a member of the Temporary Interorganizational Action Committee (TIAC), which eventually merged seven separate organizations into NASW.  He also was a member of the NASW committee that created the Academy of Certified Social Workers.  Auerbach organized and led the first NASW delegation to the People’s Republic of China in 1977 and met with Japanese social workers as well.  While organizing and heading the NASW delegation to the P.R.C., Mr. Auerbach met with Chinese individuals in art museums, schools, psychiatric hospitals, factories, neighborhoods, and communes.  It was a trip with extraordinary access and produced a narrative account of the trip day by day.


Career Highlights

Mr. Auerbach was an authority on financing long-term health care programs for senior citizens. He was a member of the American Society on Aging, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education and the National Association of Social Workers.

Mr. Auerbach, who retired from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale in 1979, organized the Emeritus College in 1983. He also was the former director of the School of Social Work.  The Emeritus College is an organization composed of retired professors and administrators who occasionally work or lecture at the University.  Mr. Auerbach was the director of the college and also was a member of the Illinois Attorney General's Senior Citizens Advisory Council in 1987.

Prior to his tenure at SIUC, he was a professor of Sociology and Social Welfare at the San Fernando Valley State College in California, and formerly taught administration and community organization at the Graduate School of Social Welfare, UCLA.  He had more than 25 years as an administrator in public and voluntary social service agencies.  He was a consultant to business and public agencies on administrative and personnel matters and community relations.


He began his career as a case worker in the New York City Home Relief Bureau and New York Department of Welfare from 1934-42.  Auerbach served as a psychiatric social worker in the military medical corps from 1944-45 and as a USO director in Virginia and Kansas from 1942-44.


Biographic Data

Mr. Auerbach was born August 14, 1911 in New York City.  He died in 1996 in Murphysboro at the age of 85. He received his PhD in sociology from the University of Pittsburgh in 1961 and his MSW from Washington University in St. Louis in 1949. 

He was a member of the Lions Club, a member of the American Civil Liberties Union, an Army veteran of World War II, and was active in several Jewish organizations.  Speakers at his memorial service included the mayor of Carbondale, Illinois, members of the ACLU, the NAACP, and the U.S. China Friendship Association.


Mr. Auerbach was married and they had three sons.


Significant achievements and awards

1982 Social Worker of the Year award, Illinois Chapter, NASW; Board member for 10 years, Southern Illinois Chapter, NASW; helped organized Denver NASW Chapter in 1962; Policy Fellow of the American Society on Aging.

Significant Publications

His articles have appeared in journals such as Administrative Science Quarterly, Transaction, Social Work and other professional magazines.



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