KLASS, Morton. N.Y. 24.6.1927 — N.Y. 28.4.2001 (when 73). U.S. Anthropologist. Educated in New York, in 1945 joined U.S. Merchant Marine. Started writing fiction, but then was fascinated by Margaret Mead’s Samoan work and turned to anthropology. After three years’ studies graduated A.B. in 1955 from Brooklyn College (evening courses) and went to Columbia University. Ph.D. 1959 Columbia. Taught 30 years at Barnard College and Columbia University, retired as Professor in 1997. As scholar, concentrated on South Asia and South Asians. Married Sheila Solomon Klass, author and Professor of English, two daughters and one son.
Publications: Diss. East Indians in Trinidad. Manuscript, N.Y. 1959 (on sugar plantage workers), publ. 265 p. N.Y. & L. 1961.
– From Field to Factory: Community Structure and Industrialization in West Bengal. 264 p. Philadelphia 1978.
– Caste: The Emergence of the South Asian Social System. 212 p. Philadelphia 1980.
– Singing with Sai Baba: The Politics of Revitalization in Trinidad. 187 p. Boulder, Colo. 1991.– Some further works.
Sources: *H.S. Lewis, American Anthropologist 104, 2002, 637-640 & 105, 2003, 235f.; obituary in The New York Times 3.5.2001.