Dr. Stanley J. Weiss  


Professor Emeritus of Psychology, passed away on November 2, 2017, his 80th birthday, after a courageous three year battle with ALS. He is survived by his beloved family including: his wife of 55 years Joan McWilliams Weiss; his daughters, Juliet Blackford and Philana Weiss; brother Richard Weiss and his wife Nancy; son-in-law Timothy Blackford; and grandchildren Katherine and Jonathan Blackford.

Stanley was born on November 2, 1937, the oldest son of Philip and Gloria Weiss, and grew up in a close family with many relatives in the Bronx. He graduated from the City College of New York in 1959 with a major in Psychology and minor in Physics. He completed his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology in 1963 at The Ohio State University, where he met the love of his life, Joan. After serving on the faculty at SUNY Stony Brook, Stanley joined the Department of Psychology at American University in 1968 and spent the rest of his career at AU until he retired in 2012. Stanley and Joan were involved residents of the Town of Somerset in Chevy Chase, MD for 48 years.

During his long career as a tenured professor and researcher, Stanley made valuable contributions to the field of psychology, in particular to the study of animal learning, and mentored many students. He attended meetings of the Eastern Psychological Association throughout his career and was proud to serve a term as its president. He also organized the Winter Conference on Animal Learning and Behavior for many years. He was an international expert in the area of stimulus compounding and was a visiting professor in several countries, including as a Fulbright Scholar at the Pavlov Medical University in St. Petersburg, Russia. Additionally, he had competitive research grants for over 30 years and over 70 professional publications to his credit.

Stanley will be remembered for his devotion to his family and friends, his scientific curiosity and hard work, and his willingness to fight for what he believed in. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends and colleagues. There will not be a funeral service. A memorial will be held at the Kay Spiritual Life Center at the American University on January 4, 2018 at 4 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Stanley Weiss Memorial Fund for Experimental Psychology.


Published in The Washington Post on Nov. 9, 2017