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This article is from the Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, 6 volumes, edited by William S. Powell. Copyright ©1979-1996 by the University of North Carolina Press. Used by permission of the publisher. For personal use and not for further distribution. Please submit permission requests for other use directly to the publisher.

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Jocher, Katharine

22 Sept. 1888–2 Aug. 1983

Katharine Jocher, social worker and university professor, was born in Philadelphia, Pa., the daughter of John Conrad and Lillie Caroline Reichle Jocher. Her undergraduate degree was from Goucher College and her master's from the University of Pennsylvania, where she held a university scholarship. She earned the doctorate from The University of North Carolina in 1929 and received honorary doctorates from Goucher; Western College for Women, Oxford, Ohio; and The University of North Carolina.

Following service as a social worker in Philadelphia and Baltimore and as an instructor at Sweet Briar College, she became a research assistant at the Institute for Research in Social Science at The University of North Carolina in 1924 and assistant director of the institute in 1927. In 1924 she also was made an instructor in sociology and public welfare and later rose to the rank of professor, the first woman on the faculty to rise through all of the ranks to that position. In 1931 she became managing editor of the journal Social Forces and from 1951 to 1962 was its editor.

Professor Jocher held a special research assignment in 1930–31 on the President's Research Committee on Social Trends, and for several years beginning in 1947 she was a member of the Governor's Committee for Revision of Domestic Relations Laws in North Carolina, of the North Carolina Interracial Commission, and of the Committee on Services for Children and Youth in North Carolina. She was a member of and an officer in numerous professional organizations both at the state and the national level. With Howard W. Odum, she was the author of An Introduction to Social Research and In Search of the Regional Balance of America.

Miss Jocher died in Chapel Hill, survived by a niece.


Files of the Sociology Department and of the Office of the Secretary of the Faculty, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Who's Who in the South and Southwest (1950).

Additional Resources:

Katharine Jocher in WorldCat:,%20katharine%20c