James Leiby, UC Berkeley social welfare professor emeritus, dies at 89

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James Leiby, a UC Berkeley professor emeritus in the School of Social Welfare, died at his home in Berkeley on Feb. 12. He was 89.

Leiby retired from campus in 1989. He taught social welfare policy and history and was the head of the undergraduate program of library research for 25 years, according to a news post from the School of Social Welfare.

Leiby was very involved in the campus community since he joined the faculty in 1961. In addition to teaching, he was a member of the campus Academic Senate’s Library Committee — which advises Chancellor Robert Birgeneau regarding administration of the school’s libraries — and was chair of the Social Welfare History Group, among other involvements.

His research on social welfare and the historical development of welfare policies led to the publication of a book called “A History of Social Welfare and Social Work in The United States.” Leiby was also an avid pianist and entertained colleagues at many school-related events, the post states.

A son, daughter and two grandchildren survive him. A memorial service will be held on campus by Leiby’s son, Adlai, within the next few weeks, according to the release.