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Andrew M. Greeley (February 5, 1928 – May 29, 2013) was an American Catholic priest, sociologist, journalist and popular novelist. Greeley was a professor of sociology at the University of Arizona and the University of Chicago, and a research associate with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC). Andrew M. Greeley studied sociology at the University of Chicago. His first book, The Church in the Suburbs (1958), was drawn from notes a sociology professor had encouraged him to take describing his experiences. Andrew M. Greeley figures among eminent sociologists of the world.
Andrew M. Greeley received a Master of Arts in 1961 and
a PhD in 1962. His doctoral dissertation dealt with the influence of religion on
the career plans of 1961 college graduates. At various times, Greeley was a
professor at the University of Arizona, the University of Illinois at Chicago
and the University of Chicago. He was denied tenure by the University of Chicago
in 1973, despite having been a faculty member there for a decade and having
published dozens of books; he attributed the denial to anti-Catholic prejudice,
although a colleague said his cantankerous temperament was more to blame. He
would eventually be granted tenure by the university.
As a sociologist, he published a large number of influential academic works during the 1960s and 1970s, including Unsecular Man: The Persistence of Religion (1972) and The American Catholic: A Social Portrait (1977). Andrew M. Greeley authored more than 70 scholarly books, focusing on the Roman Catholic Church in the United States. His early work challenged the widespread assumption that Catholics had low college attendance rates, showing that white Catholics were in fact more successful than other whites in obtaining college undergraduate and graduate degrees, which he attributed to what he called the high-quality education Catholics received in parochial schools. Andrew M. Greeley also studied how religion influenced the political behavior of ethnic Catholics, and he was one of the first scholars to document the sociological effects of the Second Vatican Council's reforms on American Catholics.