Bill Howell dies at Age 79

Howell was APA Executive Director for Science from 1992 to 1998.

William C. Howell, Ph.DWe are saddened to report the passing of one of our most distinguished members. Bill Howell, who was APA Executive Director for Science from 1992 to 1998, died on April 14, 2012, after an extended illness. Bill was recently named the 2012 recipient of the Raymond D. Fowler Award for Outstanding Contributions to APA. He was 79 years old.

Bill was actively engaged in so many aspects of APA.  In addition to his post in the Science Directorate, Bill gave freely of his time and effort for APA and other behavioral science organizations. He was a member and/or chair of the APA Publications and Communications Board, the Board of Convention Affairs, the Finance Committee, the Board of Professional Affairs, the Council of Representatives, and the American Psychological Foundation Board of Trustees.  He was a Fellow of four APA Divisions, and was President of Division 21, Applied Experimental and Engineering Psychology.  He also served as President of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. At the time of his passing he was an Associate Editor for the American Psychologist.

Bill was a graduate of the University of Virginia, where he completed his PhD in 1958. After 10 years at Ohio State University, Bill moved to Rice University, where he was chair of the Department of Psychology from 1970 to 1987.  He also was Chief Scientist for the US Air Force Human Resources Laboratory from 1989 to 1992.
Although Bill retired in 1998, he continued his professional activities at a remarkable pace.  His curriculum vitae tells the history of a man who worked tirelessly for the benefit of his discipline in various APA duties, and for the public good through service on many national committees where his expertise and wisdom were important to the deliberations.   

Bill was an outstanding scientist, astute administrator, and gracious and considerate friend. We miss him deeply.

Bill is survived by his wife, Patricia, daughters Karen and Carol, sons Stephen and Stuart, and eight grandchildren.

Bill’s family has asked that memorial donations be made to either the William C. Howell Endowed Fund in Psychology at Rice University or to the William C. Howell Scholarship fund at the American Psychological Foundation. The relevant information about these funds is provided below.

Rice University

See the Rice University's Centinnial Campaign website or contact Julie Platek. 

American Psychological Foundation

See the William C. Howell Scholarship webpage or contact Lisa Straus.