Pranab Chatterjee, PhD

Image of Pranab Chatterjee

Grace Longwell Coyle Professor Emeritus, Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences

Dr. Pranab Chatterjee passed away on Dec. 9, 2021.

Born in 1936 in what was then British India, he received his undergraduate education from Visva-Bharati University in Santiniketan, Bolpur, India. He then immigrated to the U.S. by cargo ship, the SS Steel Maker, settling in Tennessee in 1959. In 1961, he earned a master’s degree in social work by the University of Tennessee.

Between 1961 and 1967, Chatterjee worked as a community-based social worker on the near west side of Chicago. During this time, he studied at the University of Chicago and earned a second master’s degree in 1963 and his PhD in sociology in 1967.

Herman Stein, then dean of the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences (now called the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences), recruited Chatterjee to CWRU in 1967. This was a perfect fit as he had prepared for a career in group work and community organization.

He remained at the Mandel School, teaching and writing for over four decades. He published over 100 professional papers, mentored many students, and sat in the research committees for over two dozen PhD dissertations. He also served as editor-in-chief of The Journal of Applied Social Sciences, a preeminent peer-reviewed professional journal in social work.

Additionally, Chatterjee published six professional books, including co-authoring the textbook Contemporary Human Behavior Theory, now in its 4th edition. He passionately advocated for the blending of capitalism-based wealth generation with welfare state-based social services in his last two books.

After a 40-year career at CWRU, Chatterjee was appointed professor emeritus in 2008, when he retired as the Grace Longwell Coyle Professor of Social Work and remained an emeritus faculty until his death.

In 1964, he married Barbara Furst and had a son, Manu. In 1991, he married Marian Miller and had a daughter, Sraboni. He has two granddaughters.

Aside from his career as a social scientist, Chatterjee was also a poet, publishing three books of poetry over the years. His last book of poems, The Color of Sound and Dreams, was published in 2011.

Curriculum Vitae


Doctor of Philosophy, University of Chicago
Master of Arts, University of Chicago
Master of Social Work, University of Tennessee
Bachelor of Arts, Viswa Bharati, India