Biostatistician and entomologist who co-founded the field of numerical taxonomy along with Peter H.A. Sneath. He received the Darwin Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Association of Physical Anthropologists in 2004.
He studied at St. John's College and worked as a librarian at the University of Chicago.
He was a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
He married Julie Sokal, who died in 2012.
He and materials scientist Benjamin Hsiao have both done research at Stony Brook University.