Ronald J. Grele, 1934–2023

Ronald Grele is the former Director of the Columbia University Oral History Research Office. Prior to coming to Columbia he directed the Oral History Program at UCLA and served as Research Director at the New Jersey Historical Commission and Assistant Director of the Ford Foundation Oral History Project. He began his career in oral history as an interviewer and archivist at the John F. Kennedy Oral History Project. He has been awarded a Fulbright teaching appointment at the University of Indonesia and has conducted workshops and seminars on oral history throughout Europe, Asia, and Latin America. In 1988 he was elected President of the Oral History Association and was, for a number of years, editor of The International Journal of Oral History.

He is the Author of Envelopes of Sound: The Art of Oral History, among other works, and editor of Subjectivity and Multiculturalism in Oral History. He received his doctorate from Rutgers University and has taught at Lafayette College, The California State University at Long Beach and Kingsborough Community College. He has served as a consultant on number of oral history projects and for a number of museums and historical agencies. He has undertaken projects on the history of the Garrett Corporation in Los Angeles, McKinsey & Company, and the Boston Consulting Group. He has conducted biographical interviews for the Columbia Oral History office with women graduates of the Columbia Law School and with directors and officers of The Atlantic Philanthropies and the General Atlantic Group, and for a community history project documenting the social and cultural history of Harlem. He also conducted interviews for the Rule of Law Project and the Carnegie Corporation Project.

Remembering Ronald J. Grele


Updated February 20, 2024