NASW Foundation National
NASW Social Work Pioneers®
Harold W. Demone
(1924 - 2011)
Harold W. Demones career in social work, academia and public
service reflected his scholarship, leadership abilities and his willingness to explore
uncharted areas of basic social and public health issues. He was an
administrator, a teacher, a researcher and a public policy and program planner and
advocate. His areas of emphasis and expertise included substance abuse, mental
health, mental retardation, criminal justice and community health.
During his professional career of 43 years, Harold
Demone worked mostly in three states, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New Hampshire.
However, his work had a national impact as he consulted in more than 20
states and served on many state and federal committees and advisory groups. He was a
driving force behind federal and state legislative initiatives related to services and
research related to mental health, mental retardation and alcoholism, adult corrections,
parole and probation, mental health commitment procedures and vocational rehabilitation.
He was the chief executive officer of several public and private organizations and served
as Executive Director of the Medical Foundation in Boston (1960-67),
Executive Director of the United Community Planning Corporation in Boston (1967-77), and
Dean of the School of Social Work at Rutgers University (1977-1987). Throughout
these years, he served on a wide range of professional, public policy and community
advisory groups. He was a prolific writer with eight books and dozens of
articles to his credit. Dr. Demone retired from full-time professional work in
1992, however he continued to write and participate in professional and
community organizations and he served as a visiting lecturer in Health Policy and Management, School of
Public Health at Harvard. Even in his retirement, Dr. Demone continued to work towards improvement of and better public understanding of human needs and services.
After receiving his BA and MA degrees from Tufts in Sociology, Dr.
Demone went into social work through his studies at Brandeis University where he received
a PhD in Social Welfare. He was active in NASW, CSWE, The International Council
on Social Welfare and he served as editor and book review editor for Social Work.
One of his longtime interests was issues related to the privatization of human services. This was but one example of the creative and forward thinking which characterized his long career.
Social Work Pioneer - 1997