Enrico L. Quarantelli, 1924-2017
Professor Quarantelli was born November 10, 1924, in New York City. His education in New York included Holy Cross Academy of Manhattan and St. Catharine’s School, and he was a graduate of Power Memorial Academy. He attended Fordham College in 1942 before serving in the US Army, Headquarters Battery, 724th Field Artillery Battalion, from May 4, 1943 – April 13, 1946. He entered as Private and was promoted to Technician Fifth Grade (TEC 5) before being honorably discharged as Sergeant.

Following his military service, Professor Quarantelli graduated from the University of Chicago with a Bachelor of Arts with Honors (1948), a Master of Arts with Honors (1953), and an Honors Ph.D. (1959). Prior to completing his dissertation, he served as a lecturer at the South Bend Center, Indiana University, 1954-1957, and as an instructor at Harpur College, State University of New York, 1957-1959. Yet this simple listing of accomplishments of his early life and career belies the incredible impact his contributions would have on the field of disaster science, on disaster management practice, and on the work of thousands of scholars and future practitioners around the world.

L to R Steven R. Tripp, E. L. Quarantelli, and Russell R. Dynes, 1968, L to R Steven R. Tripp, E. L. Quarantelli, and Russell R. Dynes
L to R Steven R. Tripp, E. L. Quarantelli, and Russell R. Dynes, 1968, L to R Steven R. Tripp, E. L. Quarantelli, and Russell R. Dynes


His work in the disaster research field began as he played an instrumental role with the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) then at the University of Chicago. This group, along with several other NORC groups in the United States, spearheaded much of the early research on human responses to disaster. While at the University of Chicago, he was heavily influenced by his training in the “second Chicago school,” an approach that emphasized the symbolic interactionist approach and field research methodology. Upon completion of his dissertation at the University of Chicago, Professor Quarantelli took a faculty appointment at The Ohio State University in 1959, where he remained on faculty until 1984.

In 1963, along with Professors Russell Dynes and Eugene Haas, he formed the Disaster Research Center (DRC). Their choice of name was a quick thought on a flight home after receiving initial funding. Ultimately, however, DRC would go on to generate some of the most important social and behavioral science research on disasters. Over three decades at The Ohio State University, Quarantelli and Dynes spearheaded what became a hallmark of disaster research methodology: quick response. Since then the Disaster Research Center, first at The Ohio State University and then at the University of Delaware, has completed some 700 quick response studies, generating a host of graduate students uniquely trained in this methodological approach. Professor Quarantelli’s field deployments with the Disaster Research Center spanned from the 1964 Alaskan earthquake to the 2001 September 11th attacks, when he was 76 years old. In 1984, Professors Quarantelli and Dynes moved the Disaster Research Center to the University of Delaware, where Professor Dynes had become Chair of the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice. Professor Quarantelli continued his career at the University of Delaware on faculty in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice, teaching until 1989, as a research professor until 1998, and then as a Professor Emeritus until the time of his death. Over the course of his career, one of his intellectual passions was the growth of the Center’s Resource Collection, which includes not only decades of qualitative and quantitative research data, but also a library holding of more than 70,000 publications. Visiting scholars from around the world still apply to DRC, sometimes a year in advance, to come to make use of this vast collection.

In 1996, Professor Quarantelli was awarded the Charles E. Fritz Award for Career Contributions to Disaster Research. Professor Quarantelli devoted his entire life to the disaster research field, sparing little for pursuits outside those of scientific inquiry. The disaster research community is truly in his debt for the careers he helped to launch, for his lineage of scholarly descendants, and for the intellectual legacy that has sustained this community over these last five decades. As one of DRC’s current directors, James Kendra, stated, “I think perhaps his main gift to us and to the world was the gift of clear thinking about disasters. He gave us methods and an art for seeing through the myths and misconceptions of these events, and for developing a better understanding of causes and consequences.”

Japan-United States Disaster Research Seminar 001
Japan-US Seminar group photo
​Japan-US Disaster Seminar, 1972


Dr. Enrico L. Quarantelli and Dr. Russell Dynes at DRC, 2012
Dr. Enrico L. Quarantelli and Dr. Russell Dynes at DRC, 2012


His research covered nearly every topic that is presently studied, sometimes only in a nascent form, but it is easy to see the intellectual origins of many ideas that scholars pursue now. Organizational change, emergence, volunteers, disaster mental health, emergency operations centers, warnings, evacuations, and emergency medical care among other subjects all form part of the vast corpus of research that undergirds modern disaster science.

His last work remains in progress, a broad survey of the popular culture of disaster that he worked on with Ian Davis. Professor Quarantelli was long interested in the representation of disasters in music, art, folklore, and film. His theoretical approach in symbolic interactionism was on display: how did these representations reflect how a local population understood the disaster and drew it into their collective experience? How did it shape the awareness of those who were not there? He always hoped that someone would tackle popular culture in more detail. Perhaps someone will.

His research is widely known. Indeed, he is credited with over 400 authored, coauthored, edited, or coedited publications, including over 200 published articles, 19 books and monographs, and over 150 peer-reviewed DRC preliminary papers that continue to be frequently downloaded and cited. He tackled questions central to the core of the field, including edited volumes that explored the very definition of “What is a Disaster” and he outlined the features distinguishing emergencies from disasters and disasters from catastrophes. Yet some of his work is known only in a smaller circle, such as his development of cooperative relationships with scholars in Japan, beginning some thirty years ago and persisting to this day. The field is young enough that today’s senior scholars were around for much of its development, but newer scholars may not know the provenance of certain fixtures of our intellectual lives. His work with colleagues in establishing the International Research Committee on Disasters, part of the International Sociological Association, and the founding of the International Journal of Mass Emergencies and Disasters, have provided an important infrastructure for scholarly communication. Because IJMED is freely available online, it serves as a vital resource for the practice and policy communities.

His lifelong collaboration with Russell Dynes, of course, is a part of that personal and professional history and part of the history of disaster research, a unique partnership that is a preeminent example of teamwork in science. Their collaboration points to an overall benefit of intellectual partnerships and a testimony to discovery as a social enterprise. Though they were both sociologists, their interests were diverse: Dynes was a sociologist of religion, while Quarantelli’s dissertation was on the professionalization of dentistry. Indeed, perhaps as much as their scientific findings, their work together should stand as an example for others, an example that is even more urgent as academic work moves even further toward interdisciplinarity.


During his last illness, Professor Quarantelli was primarily cared for by his caregiver, Tatina Jallah, (whom he fondly referred to as “the Queen”), as well as by close friends Mary Ann Hughes, Pat Young, and Joanne Nigg. Professor Quarantelli leaves behind no immediate family. However, as current DRC director Tricia Wachtendorf, noted, “There are thousands of scholars who see him as a founding father of their work, and a very large but close group of former students who view him and Russell Dynes with the care and admiration typically reserved for grandfathers. This year we’ve lost not only an intellectual leader, but a mentor who has inspired so many of us to make a difference in theory, a difference in communities we study, and a difference in the lives of the next generation. The extended DRC family will miss him dearly.” DRC Resource Collection Coordinator Pat Young added, “Many people view their progeny as their way to leave a legacy or a lasting impact on this world. Professor Quarantelli’s progeny, although not blood descendants, will serve to perpetuate his global impact for generations to come and across the globe, a legacy to which very few can lay claim. At this time we can only imagine and dream of how his life will continue to ripple across this world in the years ahead.”

For detailed information on Professor Quarantelli’s Celebration of Life reception and interment on June 9th, 2017, please click here. Professor Quarantelli established three funds to support disaster research, education, and scholarship. Those wishing to honor the memory of Professor Quarantelli may consider The E. L. Quarantelli Scholars in Disaster Social Science Research Endowment Fund, which will support University of Delaware student scholars in their academic and research pursuits, The E. L. Quarantelli Field Research Endowment Fund, which will support the kind of field research that Professors Quarantelli and Dynes pioneered, or The E. L. Quarantelli Resource Collection. Detailed descriptions of the funds are available here. To contribute to the funds, click here.

We hope that we will all reflect on and be deeply grateful for Professor Quarantelli’s life, which he devoted to our field and—as much as it is possible within one person’s power—to the wellbeing of so many people.




As people add their memories you can view them below:

Long past retirement, Professor Quarantelli was still a regular presence at DRC. I recall one day walking across the hallway to clarify the difference between extending and expanding organizations in the famous DRC Typology. In one of his articles, a particular defination was under expanding while in another, the very same definition was under extending. Was I reading it incorrectly? He shrugged his shoulders and smiled, “I guess mixed them up in that one. This one’s correct.” We know his incredible contributions to the field that loom large, but he was also so kind, gracious, humble, and often quite humerous. What a privilege for those of us who had him as a mentor.

– Tricia Wachtendorf

While attending FDP at IIMA during early 2001, I needed some information on the evolution of Disaster Management as a branch of study. I emailed my inquiry to IJMED Prof. Brenda Phillips, who introduced me to Prof. Quarantelli. Subsequently, I not only received extremely valuable academic inputs from him, but also gained new insights and personal motivation. I was fortunate to meet him at DRC in June 2005 during which he offered extraordinary academic inputs with unbelievable affection and love! He was very simple, humble and extremely sharp. Since my personal meeting with him at DRC in 2005, I don’t remember a day [that] I did not remember him.

– Dr. Vedant Pandya

A remarkable man who added clarity to my thinking around disaster management. Will fondly remember the two face to face discussions we had at the DRC. The discussions challenged my thinking yet I left inspired and motivated to do more.

– Chris Webb, Auckland, New Zealand

As a researcher in the field of disaster research since 2005, I personally did not have a chance to meet with Professor Quarantelli but have met with many DRC colleagues and alumni. I have gained a lot of inspiration from his decades of research and publications on disasters, and appreciate his great contribution to the field in the global sense.

– Xiaoli Lu

Professor Quarantelli was the Polaris of many scholars navigating disaster research for more than half a century, or the scientific equivalent of the Southern Cross for those of us working in the southern hemisphere. His work has guided so many and his legacy will live on for generations. Not only in sociology, but across a wide range of disciplines all being indebted to and inspired by his curiosity and groundbreaking contributions that continued throughout his extraordinarily long and productive career. I will always remember finally meeting him and Professor Dynes a decade ago – the giants whose shoulders supporting so much of my own scientific efforts – and finding myself equally impressed and inspired by their humility and welcoming disposition.

Per Becker

An e.mail today from Barbara Carby has referred to that famous 12th century quotation from Bernard of Chartres, “We are all dwarfs perched on the shoulders of giants …(we) see more and farther than our predecessors, not because we have keener vision of better height, but because we are lifted up and bourne aloft on their gigantic structure” For all those of us who have worked in the disaster business over many decades Henry was one of those ‘constants’, slight in stature but what a giant! He was a founder-figure, along with other giants like Gilbert White and Nick Ambraseys who defined a host of subjects that comfortably reside under the disaster umbrella. My first memory of dear Henry was when we met in Columbus Ohio in March 1973. I was beginning PhD field work on ‘Shelter following earthquakes’ and Henry and Russ Dynes patiently and generously took this totally ignorant young architect through the literature on the subject. Henry, even took me to the airport when I was en-rote to Managua, Nicaragua following the 1972 earthquake. As we stood by the departure gate he asked me whether I would like some practical advice? My enthusiastic acceptance resulted in one of those classic and cryptic Quarantelli quotes: “When you get to Managua you will find that there has been a massive overestimate of damage and dislocation and a massive underestimate of local resources to tackle the problems”. I asked him how he knew, had he been there already? He responded by saying he had not visited the disaster site, but could see no reason why the situation would be any different from all the other disasters he had studied over the past decades. He became a special friend and I used to look forward to his visits to London where he packed in numerous theatre visits into his tight schedule. His warmth and sheer delight in meeting friends and total strangers and sharing laughs with us over all manner of political or academic goings-on or football coaching sagas in OSU was just extraordinary! He would delight in telling me, with excellent recall, the chit-chat and tasteless jokes from late night television shows concerning the Clinton/ Lewinsky scandal! I had the joy of working with Henry on one of his numerous research ‘enthusiasms’ the ‘Popular Culture of Disasters’ . This can be found on the DRC website in its electronic form. David Alexander and I hope that one day we will update the text and produce a hard copy book version so that a wider audience can enjoy Henry’s rich insights. So today I join the massive band of people who grieve his passing and send our loving sympathy to all those who worked and cared for him over so many years. We loved this man and were all inspired, encouraged and challenged by Henry, since he literally changed the way we perceive this subject. The interlocking worlds of social science, political science, humanitarianism, development studies, crisis management, disaster research and practice owe a profound debt of gratitude to the pioneering work of Henry and Russ and the DRC they established. Ian Davis Oxford UK April 4 2017

– Ian Davis

I was privileged to join the DRC at Ohio State in 1976 as a graduate research assistant. Over the next three years, working closely with “Q” and Dr. Dynes, I gained more than a basic understanding of emergency response and preparedness. More importantly, I learned from Henry the value of thoroughness, impartiality, and humility. The value to me of his mentorship is immeasurable.

– Quinten (Ted) Johnson

“Now he belongs to the ages” I have been very fortunate to have met and work with/for many famous people in the political arena, the fire service, emergency management and in academia. Never was their more modest, pleasant and brilliant man, than Henry. (an old Hell’s Kitchen kid) I have known him since the mid 90’s and have his complete collection of papers. We chatted many times immediately after the 911 event to share my experiences as a deputy commissioner of emergency maagement while managing the EOC at pier 92. He once interviewed me while he stayed at the hotel Pennsylvania in 2002, among many other chats. I can go on and on, but I must emphasize that his contributions over the past five decades has made what emergency management and disaster research is today. I hope Henry and Gilbert White are having a great chat Always in my prayers Richie Rotanz

– Rich Rotanz

To hear Henry Quarantelli speak about disasters was beautiful: beautiful for the way he married his own precious experience and wise interpretations with clarity of thought and expression. When we conduct a piece of research on disasters, we automatically go back to Quarantelli. What did he write about the subject? So many times the answer has been that he provided the guiding light and the inspiration, the insight we have needed to help us take our work forward. In disaster studies he made an art form of common sense, but that was because he had spent so long patiently developing the understanding and acquiring the wisdom that shines through in his work. We owe so much to Henry and we will miss him indeed.

– David Alexander

Henry Quarantelli provided me with a strong foundation in collection and analysis through access, training, resources, networking, and production. I continue to use these skills to this day. He will be missed. (From a former DRC research assistant in the 1980’s and 1990’s).

– Bruce D. Crawford

I was so fortunate as a young practitioner/scholar to have some extended conversations with Professor Quarantelli. He encouraged me to find an academic program that would allow me to continue my work as a field practitioner and also allow me to teach and interact with scholars in disaster research. He was a singular and strong influence on my career choices and I will miss him.
– Michele Companion

What warm memories I have of Henry….yet I remember so vividly how frightened I was to be left alone with him while waiting for Bill to finish up his workday after I’d arrived to pick him up from work. I’d tell Bill every day I was to pick him up, “…now come down as soon as I get there because I don’t know what to talk to Henry about…” Years later I couldn’t imagine being frightened of Henry, his stories were great and his laugh so infectious. Bill had such tremendous respect for Henry and often sought his council. Little did Bill know until years later how Henry and Russ continued to mentor him well beyond graduate school. What a contribution he made to this critical field!

– Norma Doneghy Anderson

While I expected Henry’s passing would happen fairly soon, its occurrence was no less saddening. He and Russs Dynes were mentors, colleaugues, and friends during most of my adult life, both professionally and personally. I have enormous respect for their respective accomplishments, which were complementary in so many ways, and deep admiration for their qualities as human beings: honesty,thoughtfullness, sensitivity, deep caring for students and colleagues, generousity, and, last but not least, wonderful sense of humor. I will always cherish my memories of you Henry. You and Russ were and remain a blessing for all of us.

– Gary Kreps

During the spring of 1963 Professor Quarantelli requested a meeting after class. I was thrilled when he offered me a research assistanceship for the summer. So I learned how to conduct “unstructured” interviews; as I recall—4 questions for one hour or more, with dental students who were about to begin their first work on real patients. Talk about stress! And talk they did, while I learned to glance at my watch, as instructed by ELQ, and simply nod, or say “un huh.” After a full two minutes of silence, which seemed like an hour or more, we could add something like, “could you elaborate on that just a bit more?” I was honored to join the DRC upon its founding on Sept. 1, 1963, as Dan Yutzy, and I were the first full time Research Associates to be hired. Shortly thereafter Dr. Quarantelli gave me his apartment keys and asked my wife, Ruth and I to water his plants while he was in Italy following the Vaiont Dam disaster. We both remember his response as if it was yesterday, when she asked where the plants would be found. “Why in the bathtub, of course.” This level of trust from a very private man marked us as “special” within the DRC crowd because no one else had ever been inside his personal living space. It was an honor then and has remained so throughout the decades that followed. Later, as I struggled with a report on the Indianapolis coliseum explosion, Henry took hours to help me reinterpret and rewrite. During one of those sessions he referred me to an earlier piece by Rue Bucher with whom he had worked under Charlie Fritz during the NORC team days. That led to our co-authored essay which has been reprinted in several text books, i.e., “Blame in Disaster.” Prior to leaving DRC in August, 1965, with my Ph.D. in hand, Henry gave me an announcement letter from NIMH regarding small grants for “young scholars.” He helped me with a proposal that piggybacked on the field interviews I and several other DRC staff conducted in June, 1965 following a major flood in Denver, Colorado, where I had accepted a professorship to return to my undergraduate alma mater. The funding was awarded a few months later just after I was nearing the end of my first quarter of teaching. Several students in that “Research Methods” class joined me for family interviews regarding their flood evacuation experience. As I stated in the “Preface” of The Human Side of Disaster, both Russ Dynes and Henry were my “disaster parents,” along with Gene Haas for awhile. Both maintained helpful relationships with us over the years and we have done our best to remain faithful to the trust and assistance provided. So Henry, as we now say out here in the high mountains of Colorado, not good-bye, but rather, “til next time.” Tom (and Ruth) Drabek

– Tom Drabek

Where to begin to honor someone who touched every aspect of your professional life? I still remember my first class with Dr. Quarantelli, as a graduate student at The Ohio State University, where DRC began. His final assignment in qualitative methods required presenting our “mistakes” to our peers. I took a deep breath and walked to the front of the room, presented my failures and sat down, quite embarrassed. Dr. Q turned to the class and said “that is what I wanted” and offered me a job at DRC. That moment changed my life and began a new career path – one that I am still on to this day in disaster science. I continued Dr. Quarantelli’s “failure” assignment (much to the chagrin of my own students) who have become established professionals in the field – practitioners as well as tenured and tenure-track faculty. From him, we learned to face and embrace our mistakes, a lesson not only for professional work but for our personal lives as well. As a graduate research assistant, he taught us that the most important thing to do during an interview is to be quiet. His symbolic interaction theoretical stance sensitized students to listen for the meanings that people embed in their words, facial expressions, and body movements. Albeit focused on data-gathering techniques, his instruction also offered another life lesson: to attend to what people are actually saying and to gently probe further to pull out the real meanings. Such a lesson serves us well outside of research, too. Indeed, being able to sense frustration, fatigue, stress, or sheer happiness makes us more effective as family members and community citizens. He also offered lessons in service to the discipline, through the International Research Committee on Disasters. From its inception, Dr. Quarantelli shouldered responsibility as the organization’s backbone, conscience, and guide through challenging financial times, transitions to online journal delivery, elections of new officers and more. He made that happen through steadfast attention to people and what they cared about. Despite internal disagreements, Dr. Q made each person feel that he valued and heard their perspectives and concerns. He demonstrated duty to a voluntary obligation. Another life lesson. Throughout, his expectations for solid social science never wavered, coupled with a steady focus on theory as the foundation for research. I watched him become interested in and advocate for social vulnerability, feminist theory, and the needs of people in developing nations. I saw him do this from my first days at DRC when I wanted to look at what happened to migrants during disasters – and he let me, which led to my first NSF grant. He made space for us to make contributions from our own interests. Another life lesson. Finally, I watched as he stepped out of the spotlight – time and time again – to provide opportunities to others. He gave selflessly of himself to others, sharing data and writing and ideas – and so much more. I wonder how many of us have publications or grants traced directly back to his generosity, such a symbolic (and humble, invisible) way of launching the careers of others. So – we have lost a giant in our field, a mentor extraordinaire, and someone whose legacy we must continue. While many of us will and should focus on continuing his scholarly lines of research, of maintaining integrity as researchers, and of holding students accountable for their mistakes – I hope we take away even more as life lessons gathered from a humble giant: listen quietly, offer willingly, value others, make a difference, and give generously. Brenda Phillips, Ph.D.

– Brenda Phillips

I’ve spent the last week trying to compose my thoughts about Q in a manner that would be traditional, respectful, and professional. My goal was to memorialize this incredible man’s influence on my career and my life. However, when I think of Q, I remember that while he taught me the most important lessons I have ever learned about how to succeed professionally, the most important knowledge he imparted to me was how to develop and nurture my integrity, my honesty, and my heart. I first met E. L. Qurantelli in 1975. I had recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Zoology and was somehow admitted into the M.P.A. (Master’s in Public Administration) program. While I was thrilled, not to mention confused, about my admission in to this program (I later discovered it was a brand new program and they were accepting pretty much anyone:) I was nonetheless concerned about how I would find funding for my graduate career. I spent several days roaming OSU’s campus applying for Graduate Assistant jobs ranging from being an advisor to the Freshman English program (yeah, like I know anything about that) to being a lab assistant in their Biology program (ok, I know a little about that). When an Admissions Advisor in the Public Administration department told me she had heard of an opening in the Disaster Research Center for a research assistant to help them with a grant on chemical disasters, I responded, “Hey, I have a minor in chemistry. Could this work?” Ted (Quinten) Johnson, who was the Project Manager for this study at DRC, was my first contact at the Center. He was in the M.P.A. program and very kindly assured me that I was a good fit (Can NOT thank you enough for that vote of confidence, Ted). Somehow I was hired within a week (Again, thanks, Ted:) and then I had to meet E.L. Qurantelli. That man scared the hell out of me! E. L. Quarantrelli was the most brilliant and intimidating person I had ever met. His interactions with his graduate students were purely professional and terrifyingly distant. My first 9 months working at DRC were absolutely colored by my fear of this academic giant. Hey, what can I say? I recognize quality when I see it:) Under the tutelage of Kathy Tierney (who I can’t thank enough for her guidance and friendship) and Ted (who never stopped supporting me and teaching me every step of the way) I worked my tail off and somehow caught the attention of Q. After those terrifying 9 months, he put a really tiny piece of paper in my mailbox that said “See me”. I was horrified. I was sure I was being fired for just generally being an idiot. I walked into his office, sat down and was ready to thank him for the lost faith he had in me and apologize for being such a loser when he said, “Jane. Ted is graduating and going to work in Washington, D.C. I’d like to promote you to his position.” Then he said nothing. Just stared at me waiting for a response. Being amazed by the fact that I didn’t go into a seizure brought on by a panic attack, I said something incredibly intelligent along the lines of, “OK”. Q looked at me and said, “Good. I’ll get back to you later” So, that how it all began. From that time forward, I came to know Q as a mentor, an advocate for me who always had my back, a sweet friend, and an incredibly interesting human being. Throughout our next 25 years, Q and I came to know each other, warts and all, and laughed (and sometimes cried but…seriously.. mostly laughed:) our way through all the of happy times and all of the difficult times. I always knew that when I was up against a wall, I could call Q and ask for his opinion. He never pulled any punches… as everyone reading this knows and I’m pretty sure are smiling right now. When I was really lost, he’d say, “Do you really want to know my opinion?” Oh. yeah. I want to really know your opinion, my friend. That’s who E. L. Quarantelli is to me. He was an academic and research creative phenomenon, (just look at disaster research as a field — it wouldn’t be here but for him ), he was a devoted teacher/professor to anyone fortunate enough to have been in one of his highly coveted classes, a mentor to those of us who were fortunate enough to catch his attention,… and a very dear friend .. to those of us who will never, ever forget him, Love you, Q.

– Jane Gary

During the 10 long months in 1994-1995 I was in DRC as a visiting Fulbright scholar and has privilege to work with Professor Henry Quarantelli in his room. Two brilliant scientists Henry and Russel Dynes becomes my mentors and friends during these fortunate months. They have big influence and formed all my understanding and thinking about disasters and disaster management. I still remember and never will forget all my professional and personal conversations with Dr. Quarantelli. Henry was an outstanding authority in sociology of disaster. I will miss him.

– Prof.Gevorg Poghosyan, Armenia

Henry’s passing is a very sad event for the disaster research community worldwide including Russia. To me it is a very personal and grief affair. Henry opened the world of social research of disasters to me by inviting to the DRC in 1990 soon after I finished my field work and doctor’s dissertation on Chernobyl and other technological disasters in Russia. His lectures, talks and discussions on disasters while this visit and those afterwards leaving alone his indispensible publications contributed a lot to my professional competence in the area. Thanks to him I joined IDRC and later was recommended as a candidate for the IDRC management. For all these and his personal kind and open personal relation I do and will consider Henry both my great mentor and a real friend whom I will always miss. I assume his work with the Russian colleagues is known only in a smaller circle of disaster scholars. However, his intellectual impact on disaster social research development in Russia has been outstanding beginning over 25 years ago and persisting to this day thanks to his seminal books and papers. No less important was his personal contribution to development of research cooperation with the Russian scholars. This produced a number of joint publications and presentations including those within the IDRC framework. Regretfully now one can only long for those wonderful days of research collaboration! RIP and may your memory live forever.

– Boris Porfiriev

I have learned about Prof. Quarantelli first from his many papers on evacuation, and then contacted him through email in April 2008, and visited DRC on his invitation in October the same year. At that time, my main interest was evacuation, I knew little about his great background, knew little about his great achievements in disaster research and emergency management. During the four half-day talks with him about some evacuation-related topics in that visiting, I had been deeply impressed by his know-all in this field, he fluently elaborated every question I asked. Later on, when my research interests gradually transferred to the basic issues of emergency management, to the integration of safety management and emergency management, I came to realize that what a pity it was for me not to consult with him as early as possible the issues in emergency management. On second thought, I know I should be satisfied to have met with him and learned from him. I have learned from him not only the academic knowledge but also his persisting spirit to carry on his poineering research interests during over half a century. I remember, every time I called him professor Quarantelli, he always kindly reminded me to call him Henry. I wish everything goes well with Henry in the heaven. And also best wishes to all the friends at DRC. Chuansheng Jiang, Beijing, China

– Chuansheng Jiang

What a Great Man & Great Loss…both Professionally & Personally. God Speed, Henry.

– Donald E. Geis.

I was very fortunate to have experienced and benefitted from the wisdom, insights, and integrity of Henry during my career with the US Geological Survey—mainly because I was lucky enough to be at the same place as he was at historic turning points in the Nation’s science and engineering programs. One particular example was the formative period in 1989-1990 of the International Decade on Natural Disaster Reduction (IDNDR), and there eafter as it was implemented during the decade of the 1990’s. on an international scale under the auspices of the United Nations and on a national scale l under the US National Academy of Sciences. He helped diverse groups of US and international scientists and engineers and other professionals learn how to talk to each other and to reach practical agreements on programs that changed the visiion of the world on disasters and provided ways to benefit every nation. .

– Walter Hays

My colleague, the late Rocco Caporale, and I got in touch with Henry on the occasion of our research on the long term recovery and reconstruction after the 1981 earthquake in Southern Italy. We found Henry to be an indefatigable scholar and never too busy for advising, encouraging and providing research strategies to younger researchers in a new field of endeavor. However, when the occasion arouse, he compensated for our efforts in reading through his long list of publications with invitations to fine restaurants and Italian wines on the occasion of some professional meetings. As we all know, he worked until the end to beef up the collection of research material for the Disaster Research Center and to make new contributions to the field of disaster studies from his own perspective—- and he worked with all the energies, which were plenty. We shall remember him for his prolific enthusiasm and the inexhaustible skills of a research mentor. Ino Rossi, Professor Emeritus of Sociology and Anthropology, Saint John’s University, NYC. rossinor@hotmail.com

– Rossi Ino

I met Enrico last Century, in the Eighties, in Delaware coming for the USA – Italian workshop on sociology of disasters. It was great for all us, Italians, to get the chance not be perceived as disastrous sociologists, becoming part of Enrico’s and friends theoretical family. The experience lasted for years and it will last for the next years because Enrico is only waiting for us somewhere else. See you friend. Prof. Marco Lombardi – Catholic University – Milan – Italy

– Marco Lombardi

Henry Quarantelli dead at 92! I am not sad at the loss of Henry. In my view he had an extremely productive, satisfying, and full life. I am filled with gratitude for being a part of it. Thank you Henry. Henry, Russ Dynes and Dennis Wenger are the three reasons why I found myself in an extremely satisfying career of my own. The DRC relocated from The Ohio State University to the University of Delaware while I was a Delaware graduate student enjoying the mentoring of Frank Scarpitti, Gerald Turkel, Allan McCutcheon, and others. I quickly became intrigued with the new opportunity afforded by field work in disasters. Henry became a mentor, guide, and critic…once pointing out that “in sociology we study people, not buildings,” when a team I headed returned from the field with lots of pictures of debris. I thought about what Henry said and later reminded him that human beings put those building in harm’s way. Our pictures served to confirm an important issue. Henry smiled and suggested I’m “starting to learn.” The graduate education I received from of the Sociology and Criminology Department along with the Disaster Research Center combined to be the best of my life. I am forever grateful for this. Words can never adequately capture the depth of my appreciation. Throughout my own career Henry guided me toward publishing opportunities, presentation options, grant ideas, and so much more. Henry was one of my intellectual fathers. I told him this once. He didn’t say anything, but I think he liked that. Any research of my own is tied to Henry. Any teaching of disaster response and management is tied to Henry. I was merely one of many conduits through which Henry flowed to another generation of students. All of my former students owe more to Henry than they do to me. I had always expected to follow the Henry and Russ retirement model. Alas, when I retired I knew I had done and said everything I cared to about disasters. Other interests called me. I left the field of disaster management behind. Travel, reading, kayaking, studying dragon flies, all became my focus. Living at least half the year in Maine and Florida provide many opportunities for my new pursuits. Henry, Russ, the DRC, disaster colleagues and former students are all treasured memories. Thank you Henry. Henry (Hank) Fischer PhD, 1986 – University of Delaware

– Henry (Hank) Fischer

Sadly, I never had the opportunity to meet Dr. Quarantelli, but the knowledge, research and publications he developed helped me in my emergency management career and now I share them with my students. His writings have a way of cutting through the confusion and give hard facts that support the practice of emergency management. May his life be remembered fondly and his spirit travel a gentle trail.

– L.A. Nelson MS NMCEM

I often tell my graduate students that Henry Quarantelli is the singularly most important influence in my becoming a sociologist. Graduate schools were terribly sexist in 1971 when Henry invited Sue Blanshan and me to become the first women research assistants at the Disaster Research Center. He and Russ thought there should at least be two of us to share hotel rooms on field trips. I later went on to become Field Director, then briefly Co-director of Ohio State University’s Disaster Research Center. An ardent feminist, I ultimately left the field of disasters to pursue research in the areas of social movements, gender, and sexuality. But my research in all of these fields reflects Quarantelli’s approach to sociology: deep engagment with the subject matter and a commitment to public sociology with the hope of making the world a better place. As others have stated, Quarantelli (or Q as we called him in the 70s) was a brilliant and deeply committed scholar whose life’s work carved out an entrely new field of study that has now become mainstream. Few of us can make such a claim. But he was more than a disaster researcher. He was a giant of a sociologist. I learned qualitative methods from Quarantelli before there were even texts in the field, and he inspired me to be not only a scholar but a dedicated teacher and a committed mentor to graduate students. His legacy lives on in all of us that he so generously and lovingly mentored during his long and successful career. Verta Taylor Distinguished Professor of Sociology University of California Santa Barbara

– Verta Taylor

I met Prof. Quarantelli once in June 10th, 2001 in London. The meeting was scheduled by my supervisor Prof. Ian Davis. He wanted me to have a one hour chat with Prof. Quarantelli to see what he thought about my potential as a future PhD student. I still remember that day. I was so excited to see him. We talked about disasters and their impact on society and I was full of questions in my very short time with him. His comment about me was confined to just one sentence in a message sent the day after our visit “I found her very smart”. Fortunately, I got another chance to contribute to one of his papers years later in 2010 entitled “An Exploratory Research Agenda for Studying the Popular Culture of Disasters”, where I was acknowledged in his work. What an honor…. I wish I could have seen him once more to tell him that I have kept my promise and continued disaster management work after my Phd until the present. And now….so sad to hear that he is not with us anymore, but every piece of his remarkable work and all his valuable contributions in the past 60 years will leave a footprint for present and future generations. He was a phenomenon indeed. Dr. Yasamin O. Izadkhah, IIEES, Iran, April 30, 2017

– Yasamin O. Izadkhah

I met Enrico Quarantelli for the first time when the Center was still in Ohio. I was instantly impressed by his outstanding competence, the depth of his expertise, and his endless and determined thirst of knowledge. And, on top of that, by his extreme delicateness: always infinitely respectful. He was always prepared to listen, to share, and to learn from other perspectives — as for me, I was not a sociologist, but that was not a problem –, and listen from other cultures. One day he told me of one of his remark to a student: “Your observations are right, but never forget: those are only adequate inside of the American culture”. I had the immense privilege to welcome him many times in Paris: I loved to consult him on my research and “impossible” questions. Again, he was totally open. An immense lesson to me and to all: even ready to qualify his own work. For instance, even if he was a strong advocate of the rarity of “panic” and anti-social behavior in the immediate aftermath of disaster, he was ready to acknowledge that, in certain specific circumstances, anti-social behavior was a possibility – as he studied the case in Ste Croix, he told me. In Paris, he regularly had this brief comment, full of his inimitable humor: “I didn’t quite finish the Louvre.” So, we had to organize another meeting. He was kind enough to accept giving me a long lecture on video (which can be seen on my website under the title “Sociologie des Désastres », Entretien avec Enrico Quarantelli, 1992). A great moment of knowledge sharing. Humor was always with us. For instance, in this surrealist exchange, in 2003: Patrick: “This is going to be a very strange message. About an hour ago I got a phone call from New York from someone who said that someone else had told them that they had read in the NY Times that you had died. I checked the NY Times on the Internet for the last several days and I can find no name reference to you. My guess is of course that the rumor is incorrect for which I am very glad. But how in the world did your name get caught up in such a rumor?” Henry: “In fact, I do think that I am alive. I hope this is correct. Or, life after death is remarkably similar to what it is just before. But if you have the reference in the NY Times, it would be great to know more about…” Patrick: “Glad you are still around. I will try and find out more about this story. If I find anything I will let you know. Remember that I got the story third-hand but that means it went through at least two other people before it got to me. See you in Scotland or at least some apparition that will be using your name.” Henry: “And, please, if my death is definitely confirmed, thank you to inform me as soon as possible. No use to go on working if I am completely dead.” The most impressive and moving was the message I received on May 31 2011, the last message I received, which ended the following way: “I do want to say that you have been a very good friend and a great professional colleague. As a final word let me encourage you to continue to think outside of the box–you are very good at that. So a final goodbye. The very best to you. Henry”

– Patrick Lagadec

I met Prof. Quarantelli once in June 10th, 2001 in London. The meeting was scheduled by my supervisor Prof. Ian Davis. He wanted me to have a one hour chat with Prof. Quarantelli to see what he thought about my potential as a future PhD student. I still remember that day. I was so excited to see him. We talked about disasters and their impact on society and I was full of questions in my very short time with him. His comment about me was confined to just one sentence in a message sent the day after our visit “I found her very smart”. Fortunately, I got another chance to contribute to one of his papers years later in 2010 entitled “An Exploratory Research Agenda for Studying the Popular Culture of Disasters”, where I was acknowledged in his work. What an honor…. I wish I could have seen him once more to tell him that I have kept my promise and continued disaster management work after my Phd until the present. And now….so sad to hear that he is not with us anymore, but every piece of his remarkable work and all his valuable contributions in the past 60 years will leave a footprint for present and future generations. He was a phenomenon indeed. Dr. Yasamin O. Izadkhah, IIEES, Iran, April 30, 2017

– Yasamin O. Izadkhah

At the time of the Friuli earthquake (Italy 1976) I was part of a group of researchers at the Institute of International Sociology of Gorizia (ISIG), who were eager to contribute to the recovery of our region from that tragedy. We were newcomers to the research field where Henry was a recognized authority. His advice and support were invaluable and continuous. I remember him as generous, loyal, and enthusiastic. Bruna De Marchi, SVT, University of Bergen, Norway

– Bruna De Marchi

I have just returned home from E.L. Quarantelli’s memorial in Delaware and have a very full and grateful heart. It was an incredibly moving event, yet casual and freind-centered… just as Q would have wanted it to be. Many thanks to those who organized this beautiful celebration of his life, to those who shared their sweet and humorous memories of this great man, and to all who honored him at this memorial. I had the opportunity to meet many of those who worked with him at Univeristy of Delaware and know that his legacy is in very capable and loving hands. Thanks to all of you.

– Jane Gray

Professor Quarantelli quite simply was…. and is, and will always be, the father of modern emergency management… not just in academic terms, but he will always be its guiding spirit.
– Don LeBlanc – fire officer, and emergency manager
I am very moved to read the message in memory of Professor Quarantelli. I met him 32 years ago, when I went to the DRC to seek support and advice due to the situation we lived in Mexico City after the earthquake of September 19, 1985. Now that we are again in a disaster situation, by an earthquake on the same day more than three decades later, come to my memory the kindness of Professor Quarantelli and his colleagues Russ Dynes and Dennis Weinger, who kindly answered the many questions of a young researcher like me who eagerly sought answers to how to react to such a complex social situation. Having participated in the project that these three experts did after the earthquake of Mexico City in 1985 is one of the most interesting experiences of my professional life. I will always remember Professor Quarantelli with admiration and gratitude. May he rest in peace.

– Alejandro Garnica Andrade

Now that we are again in a disaster situation, by an earthquake on the same day more than three decades later, come to my memory the kindness of Professor Quarantelli and his colleagues Russ Dynes and Dennis Weinger, who kindly answered the many questions of a young researcher like me who eagerly sought answers to how to react to such a complex social situation.

– Edi

DRC sent a message nobody wants to get. Henry Quarantelli passed away ? Not for me and surely not for all who met him personally. When I came the first time to the DRC, to Columbus, Ohio, in 1981, as greenhorn and beginner in disaster research, I was awed by the atmosphere provided by Henry and Rus. One felt welcomed, integrated, taken seriously. Different from Germany, the doors were always open, discussion was invited, and help was always offered. Literally, the world was at home at DRC, from Sweden, Japan, Italy, South-America. Henry supported and motivated, he gave food for thoughts far beyond any patronization. For me, he always was a mentor and an inspirer. More than that, he was an example. I became aware of it, when Henry visited Germany and we drove together to the famous Remagen Bridge, were he fought in WW II. Finally we found the place at which he “layed in the shit”. We looked us in the eyes but didn´t say a word. Together, a man who fought for another Germany, and a young German, who benefited from, stood side by side, knowing that calamity is not faith. Way beyond the welcome at DRC, at Remagen Henry brought to my mind that he always extended his hand for a better future. A message I will never forget.

– Wolf R. Dombrowsky