One of the genuinely legendary voices of modern demography has just died, according to news out today from the IUSSP office in Paris.
We are saddened to learn that Jack [John C.] Caldwell [1928-2106], IUSSP President (1994-1997) passed away on Saturday at the age of 87 while sitting peacefully in his chair. Jack Caldwell is one of the most influential researchers in the demographic field. He is considered one of the grandfathers of African demography and is widely known for his theory of intergenerational flows of wealth within families and its impact on fertility preferences. He shared most of his research career with his wife, an anthropologist, “Pat” Caldwell (1922-2008). Together they directed the Changing African Family Project, which used demographic and anthropological approaches to understand the nature and trends of fertility and mortality shaping the many unique family systems across the continent.Professor Caldwell and his wife were Australian, but his first academic appointment back in the 1960s was at the University of Ghana. The research that he and his wife conducted throughout Africa set the standard for other demographers and social scientists, but their influence on demographic thought goes well beyond the work in Africa, as readers of my text can witness by repeated references to publications by him alone and in concert with his wife.