Odum, Howard Washington (ōˈdəm) [key], 1884–1954, American sociologist, b. Bethlehem, Ga., grad. Emory College, 1904, Ph.D. Clark Univ., 1909, and Ph.D. Columbia, 1910. In 1920 he became professor of sociology at the Univ. of North Carolina and was director of its school of public welfare (1920–32) and of its Institute for Research in Social Science (1924–44). A member of the North Carolina state planning board after 1935, he also served on many other state and regional committees. His most important work was Southern Regions of the United States (1936), a highly influential study on regional and racial sociology. He also contributed to the study of folk music. Odum wrote a trilogy of novels on the life of a wandering black person: Rainbow round My Shoulder (1928), Wings on My Feet (1929), and Cold Blue Moon (1931).
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.