Papers of Sir Maurice George Kendall

Scope and Content

The papers comprise printed and typescript articles on statistics, correspondence, games, puzzles and humorous writings, biographical material, certificates, honours and publication agreements.

Administrative / Biographical History

Maurice George Kendall was born in Kettering in September 1907. After attending Derby Central School he won a scholarship to St John's College, where he gained a first class in Part One of the Mathematical Tripos and was a wrangler in Part Two. After graduating, Kendall joined the Ministry of Agriculture, working on statistics, and in 1941 became statistician to the British Chamber of Shipping. He was appointed Professor of Statistics at the London School of Economics in 1949. In 1961 Kendall joined the computer consultancy CEIR, later called SCICON, where he became managing director and chairman. On his retirement from SCICON in 1972 he was made the first director of the World Fertility Survey. He held this post until 1979, when ill health forced his early retirement.

Well-respected in his field, Kendall was chairman of both the Royal Statistical Society and the Institute of Statisticians in the 1960s. He became a Fellow of the British Academy in 1970 and was knighted in 1974. His exceptional work for the World Fertility Survey was recognised by the award of a United Nations peace medal in 1980.

Kendall wrote extensively on statistics, perhaps his most important work being 'The Advanced Theory of Statistics' (1943-6), which became the leading treatise on the subject and earned its author a Cambridge ScD in 1949. Kendall later revised it into a three-volume work with Alan Stuart.

Kendall also wrote humorous verse and prose, most notably 'Hiawatha Designs an Experiment'. He was twice married and had four children.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation

Acquisition Information

Donated by Mr Peter Kendall, June 2006.

Note

Maurice George Kendall was born in Kettering in September 1907. After attending Derby Central School he won a scholarship to St John's College, where he gained a first class in Part One of the Mathematical Tripos and was a wrangler in Part Two. After graduating, Kendall joined the Ministry of Agriculture, working on statistics, and in 1941 became statistician to the British Chamber of Shipping. He was appointed Professor of Statistics at the London School of Economics in 1949. In 1961 Kendall joined the computer consultancy CEIR, later called SCICON, where he became managing director and chairman. On his retirement from SCICON in 1972 he was made the first director of the World Fertility Survey. He held this post until 1979, when ill health forced his early retirement.

Well-respected in his field, Kendall was chairman of both the Royal Statistical Society and the Institute of Statisticians in the 1960s. He became a Fellow of the British Academy in 1970 and was knighted in 1974. His exceptional work for the World Fertility Survey was recognised by the award of a United Nations peace medal in 1980.

Kendall wrote extensively on statistics, perhaps his most important work being 'The Advanced Theory of Statistics' (1943-6), which became the leading treatise on the subject and earned its author a Cambridge ScD in 1949. Kendall later revised it into a three-volume work with Alan Stuart.

Kendall also wrote humorous verse and prose, most notably 'Hiawatha Designs an Experiment'. He was twice married and had four children.

Preferred citation: St John's College Library, Papers of Sir Maurice George Kendall

Archivist's Note

12 Dec 2008

Additional Information

Published