Sol Gordon
(1923 - 2008)

Profile:
Sol Gordon

Birth:
June 12, 1923

Passing:
December 2, 2008


Memorial
In Honor of Sol Gordon, Ph.D.

- A short obituary, by Marlene Appley
- A narrative resume of Sol's career
- A list of Sol's books and awards


Dr. Sol Gordon, 85, of Chapel Hill, Professor Emeritus of Syracuse University, with a distinguished career as a clinical psychologist, educator, and recipient of many scholarly awards, as well as author of thirty books, died on Tuesday, December 2, 2008.

He was invited to lecture in every state over the course of his distinguished career, and presented internationally in Australia, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, England, Israel, Germany and Thailand.

Sol was born in Brooklyn, NY on June 12, 1923. He served in the US Army Air Forces from 1942 to 1946. Under the GI Bill of Rights he completed a Bachelors Degree and a Masters Degree from the University of Illinois in 1948.

Feeling a need to help establish a home for the victims of World War II, he left for Israel in 1949 and participated in establishing Kibbutz Sasa.

In 1953 he completed a Ph.D. degree in Psychology at the University Of London, England.

During the civil rights years, Sol and his wife Judith founded several Headstart Schools in the South.

Sol was predeceased by his wife of 37 years, Judith (Sulzberger) Gordon, in 1991. She coauthored several of his books. He is survived by a son, Joshua P. Gordon of Los Angeles, California, a sister Mrs. Ethel Schnipper of Florida and his partner, Dr. Marlene Bondy Appley of Chapel Hill. Sol and Marlene both grew up in Brooklyn and shared their interest in Israel where they both were active in building Kibbutz Sasa. In the nine years that they spent together in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, they were both contributing to the community by lecturing and teaching.

Memorials are being planned in many organizations and locations throughout the country. Any questions should be addressed to Marlene Bondy Appley at 9 Charrington Place, Chapel Hill, NC 27517

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Sol Gordon

. . . received his B.A. and M.S. from the University of Illinois and his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of London (1953). He served as chief psychologist at the Philadelphia Child Guidance and the Middlesex County Mental Health Clinics. Dr. Gordon taught at Yeshiva University (1965-69) and then at Syracuse University where he was Professor of Child and Family Studies and Founding Director of the Institute for Family Research and Education (1970-1985) and Chair of the Department of Marriage and Family Therapy (1970-1976).

Gordon has written over one hundred articles for professional publications and authored 30 books, including a controversial series of comic books on sex education written for teens who resisted reading. A widely respected figure in sex education, he started the popular undergraduate course in human sexuality at Syracuse University, attracting up to 400 students a semester. The course grew into the Summer Institute for the Study of Human Sexuality.

With a distinguished career as a clinical psychologist and sex educator, Dr. Gordon is the recipient of many scholarly awards. Upon his retirement from Syracuse University, Dr. Gordon was a fellow of the APA, and a member of the National Council of Family Relations and American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists. He has lectured in every state in the United States as well as internationally in Australia, Japan, Sweden, Denmark, England, Israel, Germany, Thailand and other countries.


Recent Books

Another Chance for Love: Finding a Partner Later in Life (Adams Media Corporation) 2004

A Friend in Need: Helping a friend when times are tough (Prometheus Books) 2000

Falling In Love Again (Bob Adams) 2000

Raising a Child Responsibly in a Sexually Permissive World, with Judith Gordon (Fireside) Paperback, Revised 2000 (Bob Adams)

How Can I Tell if I’m Really In Love? (Bob Adams) 1997

When Living Hurts (Union of American Hebrew Congregations) Paperback, 1997

Why Love is Not Enough (Bob Adams) Paperback, Revised 1990

Psychology for You (Sadlier) 1983
Life is Uncertain . . . Eat Desert First, with H. Brecher (Delacorte) 1990

The Teenage Survival Book (N.Y. Times/Random House) Revised 1989

Personal Issues in Human Sexuality with C. Snyder (Allyn and Bacon) 1989

Seduction Lines Heard Round the World (Prometheus Books) 1987

One Miracle at a Time, Dickman and Gordon (Simon and Schuster) 1986

Parenting: A Guide for Young People, with Mina Wollin (Oxford/Sadlier) Revised 1985

Living Fully: A Guide for Young People with a Handicap (John Day) 1975


Childrens Books

Did the Sun Shine Before You Were Born? With Judith Gordon (for ages 3-6)

Girls are Girls and Boys are Boys – So What’s the Difference? (for ages 6-9)

A Better Safe than Sorry Book, with Judith Gordon (for ages 5-9)

All Families are Different (for Ages 8-12)
Facts about Sex for Today’s Youth (for ages 9-14)
(All Published by Prometheus Books)


Video

How Can I Tell if I’m Really In Love? (Paramount Pictures Corp.)

Strong Kids, Safe Kids (Paramount Pictures Corp.)
Sex: A Topic for Conversation, Parent Sex Education Videos (3) (Mondell Productions)


Selected Awards

Public Service Award given by The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (2005)

The Pennsylvania Coalition to Prevent Teen Pregnancy (2004)

Spirit of Service Award from the National Organization on Adolescent Pregnancy, Parenting and Prevention (2003)

For Making a World of Difference in Sexuality Education, A Lifetime Achievement Award given by Advocates, Planned Parenthood, AASECT, and
SIECUS (2002)


Sol is most proud of:

His comic books, 10 Heavy Facts about Sex. He explained they attracted a lot of attention because it was banned (considered pornographic). They appeared in newspapers all over the country; sold over a million copies at Syracuse. (See letter by Peter Scales in the "letters" section of this website!)

Creating the idea of "Are you an askable parent?" He explained parents need to respond to any question. Ignorance is harmful, knowledge is never harmful.

Founding the idea of October being National Family Sexuality Education Month.


Sol strongly advocated for:

Parents to educate their children.

Teenagers to be well informed. (He commented, for example, that teens need to know that oral sex is sex!)

Focusing on at-risk youth.

Guest Book Wall (What is this?)

Hover your mouse over the wall images to see each guest book entry.

Guest Book (32 entries)
Time passes and I'm still missing him
Ami Shachar (Close friends and collegu)
March 31st, 2013
A fifty year old named partner of my law firm is transitioning to a woman. The revelation was a surprise to all and many "do not quite understand". Thanks to Dr. Gordon the transition make perfect sense. There are few instructors from nearly forty years ago who I still recall. Few with such respect. Sol, you will be missed.
Kenn Wolin (Student (1974))
September 20th, 2012
I do not doubt much good that was done by Sol, but I too was one of those groomed, taken advantage of by way of Sol's "fun hypnosis and progressed to mutual, naked genital exploration" as described by N.O. This was presented by Sol as a healing act for me. It was nothing near that...it was only for him and his own sick gratification.
Eric M (former mentee)
July 17th, 2012
I was saddened to hear of Sols passing. I had met him and worked with him a around 2000. He helped me run a workshop and his fee was nominal. I last heard from him June 2006 when he sent me a postcard from Israel. His humor and wit was refreshing and I continue to use many of his "pearls" with the inmates I work with. I pray that if he has found peace... Rose
Rose Tarquinio
January 2nd, 2012
Hi Jerry: It's only slander if it isn't true. Every fact I stated is true. The opinions are my own. Glad you had a good expereience with Sol. Many others did not, including Mr. Weiner below who writes articulately of his feelings of betrayal by Sol and deep sadness, as well as Sol's "demons." Like Mr. Weiner, Sol dropped me as his mentee and purported "other son" when I declined his further advances.
N. O. (Former victim)
December 12th, 2011
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Candles

"Dear N.O., to clear something up for you, I am a diffrent Patricio than who you refer to, you are referring to a 76 six year old predetor who is in prison. That guy has nothing to do with me or Sol. Poor you. God Bless Sol. You slander me. Pat T. 52"
Patricio Trujillo
November 25th, 2011
"Sol taught me something that I have never forgotten. "If you are fighting the good fight and you need a statistic, make one up. That's what they are always doing on the other side!""
Malcolm Smith
May 17th, 2010
"Sol lit up a room. He energy, his enthusiasm, his charism lives on."
Jane Gilgun
January 19th, 2010
"Sol and I met 1967, had a 40 yr association. Sol served until his death as a key board member of www.ISAFonline.org which, following a 1994 trip to Vietnam which Sol instigated, has worked on a major new method of permanent female contraception QS."
Donald Collins
December 24th, 2009
"Sol was a light that shone erased the darness of ignorance and prejudice that surrounds the subject of sexuality."
Dave Hingsburger
February 15th, 2009
"Sol was such a special person who touched all the lives around him. He always had a way to make those with whom he interacted feel that they, not himself, was the important person. I have lost a friend, colleague and mentor and miss him dearly."
Jay Yanoff
December 24th, 2008
"Sol was a very dear friend and colleague of my Father, Larry Hopp (who passed away in 2001). Sol was a brilliant, unpretentious, caring person. It was an honor to have known him and his wife, Judy. Memories of both of them will stay with me always."
Susan Hopp
December 23rd, 2008
"Sol was a pioneer, a mentor, a sexuality educator, a youth advocate before that concept was common, and an amazing, beautiful, dynamic, fascinating, passionate soul. We are blessed to have known him. I will never forget him and what he taught me."
Mary Jo Podgurski
December 18th, 2008

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