November 14, 1917–November 5, 2002
BY THOMAS J. ESPENSHADE, JAMES TRUSSELL, AND CHARLES F. WESTOFF
ANSLEY JOHNSON COALE, William Church Osborne Professor of Public Affairs and professor of economics emeritus at Princeton University, died on November 5, 2002, at Pennswood retirement village in Newtown, Pennsylvania, at the age of 85. The cause was heart failure following several years with Parkinson’s disease.
Coale was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on November 14, 1917. He attended public high school in Annapolis, graduating in 1934 at the age of 16. Since his College Entrance Board scores in Latin were not acceptable for admission to Princeton University (he scored only 28 percent in Virgil), he spent one year at Mercersburg Academy to correct that deficiency on a scholarship for boys from low-income families, and he matriculated at Princeton in the fall of 1935.
Coale was educated entirely at Princeton University (B.A. in 1939, M.A. in 1941, and Ph.D. in 1947) and spent his whole academic career at its Office of Population Research, serving as assistant director from 1954 to 1959, as director from 1959 to 1975, and as associate director from 1975 to 1986. He was appointed assistant professor of economics in 1947, promoted to associate professor of economics in 1954, promoted to professor of economics in 1959, and named