Bernard Berelson, 67, a social scientist, educator, author and president of the Population Council from 1968 until his retirement in 1974, died Tuesday at a hospital in Tarrytown, N.Y. He had been in failing health since suffering a stroke two years ago.
Dr. Berelson divided his time between teaching and his research on population and was the author of numerous articles and a number of books in his field.
During the 1940s and early 1950s, he was research director of the Bureau of Applied Social Research at Columbia University and professor of library science and social sciences at the University of Chicago. From 1951 to 1956, he was director of the behavioral sciences program at the Ford Foundation, then director and professor of sociology at Columbia University in 1960 and 1961.
In 1961, he was asked to investigate communication possibilities for the Population Council in New York City, an international organization founded in 1952 by John D. Rockefeller III for the scientific study of population.
He became director of a communication research program in 1962 and was named president in 1968. When he retired, he became president emeritus and remained with the council as a senior fellow.
Dr. Berelson originated the first periodical to disseminate results of family planning studies to the international community. He organized an international conference on family planning in which 36 countries participated, and created a cooperative international postpartum hospital program to provide family planning information and services.
In the late 1960s, he became one of the first to research ways of dealing with population problems beyond the family planning stage and published his results in Science magazine.
Dr. Berelson was born in Spokane, Wash. He earned a bachelor's degree from Whitman College and bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Washington. He earned a doctorate from the University of Chicago.
A prolific writer in his field, he was coauthor in 1954 of "Voting," a study of public opinion information in a presidential campaign, with Paul Lazarsfeld and William McPhee. His 1964 book, "Human Behavior," written with Gary Steiner, is considered a classic in the literature of the behavioral sciences.
During World War II, Dr. Berelson served in the Federal Communication Commission's foreign broadcast intelligence service.
In 1977, he received the Margaret Sanger Award for his early contributions to family planning. He received the University of Chicago's Professional Achievement Award in 1979, as well as a number of honorary doctorates.
Dr. Berelson lived in Irvington-on-Hudson, N.Y. He is survived by his wife, five children, two sisters and a brother.