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Herbert Aron David papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: RS 13/24/12

Scope and Content

This collection (1933-2009, undated) contains biographical information, correspondence, conference information, course notes, and published works. The bulk of the collection consists of professional correspondence with Iowa State colleagues and members of professional societies. Records related to events celebrating the 50th anniversary of the ISU Statistics Laboratory are also included in the collection. Other files contain lecture notes for statistics courses taught by David; files related to the journal Biometrics and the editorial board on which David served; and a brief history of the ISU Statistics Department.


  • 1933-2009, undated

Language of Materials


Access Restrictions

Open for research.

Use/Re-use Restrictions

Consult Special Collections and University Archives


Herbert Aron David was born December 19, 1925, in Berlin, Germany. Following the death of his grandparents during World War II, he and his father escaped to Australia. David received his B.S. (1947) from Sydney University, Australia, and his Ph.D. (1953) from London College University in statistics. Before arriving at Iowa State, David was a Research Officer (1953-1955) at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization in Sydney; Senior Lecturer (1955-1957) in statistics at Melbourne University; Professor (1957-1964) of statistics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute; and Professor (1964-1972) of biostatistics at the University of North Carolina.

David joined Iowa State University as Professor (1972-2006) and Head (1972-1984) of the Department of Statistics and as Director (1972-1984) of the Statistical Laboratory. At Iowa State he was named Distinguished Professor (1980) and upon his retirement was named Distinguished Professor Emeritus (2006).

Throughout his career, David was active in professional statistical societies and recognized for his contributions to the field of statistics. He received the J. Shelton Horsley Award for Meritorious Research from the Virginia Academy of Science (1963) and the Wilks Award for Outstanding Contributions to Statistical Methodology in Army Research (1983). He was named a Fellow of the American Statistical Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. He is also a member of the International Statistical Institute. David served as President (1963) of the Biometric Society, Eastern North American Region.

David is the author of numerous statistical articles and several books. He authored the textbook Order Statistics (call no. QA278.7 .D38) first published in 1970. The book is currently in its third edition. David was also co-editor, with Peter Armitage, of the book Advances in Biometry: 50 Years of the International Biometric Society (call no. QH323.5 .A29 1996)

In 1950, David married Vera Reiss of Prague, Czechoslovakia. They had one son, Alexander. Vera passed away in 1991. David remarried in 1992 to Ruth Oppenheimer.


3.78 Linear Feet (9 document boxes)


The collection is organized Alphabetically.

Items in related collections

RS 13/24. Iowa State University. Department of Statistics records

Processing Information

Released on 2018-11-01.

RS 13/24/12. Herbert Aron David papers, 1933-2009, undated
January 23, 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives Repository

403 Parks Library
701 Morrill Road
Iowa State University
Ames Iowa 50011-2102 United States
(515) 294-6672