Donald M. Baer
Donald M. Baer was a Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor of Human Development and Family Life and of Psychology at the University of Kansas. He was born in Chicago on October 25, 1931, joined the KU faculty in 1965, and died at age 70 in 2002. Dr. Baer was an internationally renowned member of several generations of basic, applied, and developmental psychologists. He received his AB and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Chicago in 1950 and 1957, respectively, the latter in psychology under the supervision of Jacob L. Gewirtz (Florida International University). Between 1957 and 1965, Don established the “behavior analysis” approach to child development with Sidney W. Bijou at the University of Washington (e.g., Bijou & Baer, 1961; see also Baer, 1970, 1976), and contributed fundamentally to the experimental analysis of child behavior (e.g., Baer, 1960; Gewirtz & Baer, 1958). On the basis of then-pioneering work by Montrose M. Wolf and Todd R. Risley, he and they formally founded the discipline of applied behavior analysis at the University of Kansas in the late 1960s, where it flourished thereafter. Applied behavior analysis provides a conceptual framework and logic for empirically-based interventions into problems of individual and social importance (e.g., developmental disabilities, mental retardation, chronic aberrant behavior (see Baer, Wolf, & Risley, 1968, 1987). Dr. Baer published over two hundred articles, chapters, and books, and gave many more presentations.