NASW Foundation National Programs
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Elaine Brody (1923 - 2014)
Elaine Brody was one of the first social work practitioners to recognize the need for an aging specialization, and she maintained a leadership role in social work with the aging. She received her MSSA degree from the University of Pittsburgh.
By establishing active research in the field of direct practice, Elaine Brody was indeed a pioneer. In fact, she was one of only a few practicing social workers who carried out research at the same time.
Mrs. Brody was Director of the Department of Human Resources and Associate Director of Research at the Philadelphia Geriatric Center. She was a Senior Research Consultant at that organization. She received an honorary doctorate from the Medical College of Pennsylvania in 1987, and was elected as a distinguished Scholar of the National Academies of Practice.
Elaine Brody is past President of the Gerontological Society of America and the 1982 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient of the University of Pittsburgh, School of Social Work.
She was elected as a Woman of the Year by Ms. Magazine, January 1986. Mrs. Brody also served on the editorial boards of many professional journals and on Review Committees at the National Institute of Mental Health, the Administration on Aging and a number of foundations. She was a member of the Congressional Advisory Panel on Alzheimer's disease.
Her publications include six books, her most recent, Women in the Middle: Their Parent Care Years, many, book chapters and more than 200 journal articles. In addition, she directed 15 federally funded research studies on various subjects.
Elaine Brody brought honor to the profession. She served as a role model and mentor for many who were taking professional risks when gerontology was a new field.