Tribute for Steven Murdock, founding director of Rice Hobby Center for the Study of Texas

Dear Rice Community,

I’m writing to share the unfortunate news of retired professor Steven Murdock’s passing. Steve was the founding director of Rice University’s Hobby Center for the Study of Texas, as well as director of the U.S. Census Bureau and state demographer of Texas. He was 75.

Steve was a titan of demography and a highly accomplished researcher who took the time to share his passion with students and the public alike. I'm grateful for his influence at Rice and the insights he brought from his wealth of experience.

Steven spent nearly a decade at Rice, where he was the Allyn and Gladys Cline Chair in Sociology until his retirement in 2019. Throughout his academic career, he supported and advised scores of doctoral students.

A highly regarded scholar who studied the distribution of population in Texas, Murdock wrote dozens of books and nearly 50 academic journal articles about the changing racial, educational and income population characteristics of Texas and the U.S. You can read more about Steven and his influence on demography in Rice News.

A memorial service will be held April 29 from 5-7 p.m. at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home in Lakeway, Texas.

Warm regards,

Provost Amy Dittmar