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Comanor, Albert

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Comanor, Albert

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Albert Comanor was born in October 1909 in New York City. He entered the University of Pennsylvania in 1926, obtaining his Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University's Wharton School in 1930. He obtained his Master of Arts degree in Sociology, Economics and Political Science from the University's Graduate School in July 1931. In 1933 he entered the Pennsylvania School of Social Work (later part of the University of Pennsylvania), graduating with a Social Work Certificate in 1935. From 1935 to 1943 Comanor was employed by the Jewish Family and Children's Service in Pittsburgh as a caseworker, supervisor and general case supervisor. The U.S. Army employed him as a psychiatric caseworker from 1943-1945; he was discharged by special Army action to allow him to go to China with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) as a regional welfare officer. He remained with UNRRA from 1945-1947. In 1947 he was appointed Assistant Director of Community Relations with the United Service to New Americans (USNA), an international migration and resettlement agency. During the three years he remained there he was promoted twice: to Director of National Service and to Assistant Executive Director. In 1950 Comanor returned to the employ of the Jewish Family and Children's Service, this time as Executive Director in Miami, Florida. He remained there until 1960 when his career became academically rather than practically centered upon his acceptance of an Associate Professorship at the Graduate School of Social Work at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.

In 1964 Rutgers promoted him to a full Professorship. In 1967 Comanor accepted a full Professorship at the San Francisco State College, where he hoped to develop an accredited social work program. Labour unrest and other difficulties at the college conspired against him, however, and in January 1969 he opted to take up a sessional appointment as a visiting professor and accreditation consultant in the University of Calgary's School of Social Work. His appointment was extended, and in July 1969 he became a Full Professor. He remained with the Faculty of Social Work as a senior faculty member until his retirement in June 1975 when he was awarded Emeritus status. Following his retirement from the University of Calgary, he took up the Directorship (Pro Tem) of the School of Social Work at Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland. During the 1977-1978 academic year he held a visiting professorship at the University of Regina, and from 1978-1979 he acted as a part time comsultant to the Faculty of Social Work at the University of Calgary.

Comanor was widely respected throughout North America as an expert in gerontology, social work administration, and social work education. He was frequently sought after as a speaker and instructor at conferences and workshops: many of the papers he read survive in this fonds. His advice was sought by numerous institutions and social welfare groups which hired him as a consultant to assist them in setting up new programs or in reviewing those already in place. He remained active as a consultant until his death in February 1985 at the age of 75.

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