August 20, 1908 - February 27, 1997
Kingsley Davis, the grand-newphew of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, was born August 20, 1908 in Tuxedo, Texas, the son of Joseph Dyer Davis and Winifred (Kingsley) Davis. Davis earned a B.A. in English from the University of Texas, Austin, in 1930, followed by an M.A. in Philosophy from the same school in 1932. In 1933 Davis earned a second M.A. degree, this time in Sociology from Harvard University. His PhD was awarded by Harvard in 1936 based on his dissertation entitled "A Structural Analysis of Kinship".
Davis was elected by his peers as the 49th President of the American Sociological Association. His Presidential Address, entitled "The Myth of Functional Analysis as a Special Method in Sociology and Anthropology," was delivered on September 4, 1959 at the Association's Annual Meeting in Chicago. His address was later published in the December 1959 issue of the American Sociological Review (ASR Vol. 24, No. 6, pp 757-772). Upon his death in 1997, an obituary for Davis was published in Footnotes, along with letters of remembrance from his peers (see April 1997 issue of Footnotes, pages 4 and 8).