Edward Louis Rada
Professor of Public Health, Emeritus
1916 – 2005
When Edward Rada died on April 2, 2005, UCLA lost a very dear colleague. Ed, a 53-year resident of Pasadena, passed away at the age of 89. He was born in Mill City, Oregon on April 28, 1916. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Oregon State College in agricultural economics before joining the Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service in Nevada, where he married his wife, Esther. Ed joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed at Oakland Naval Airfield in California as a naval officer for the duration of World War II.
Upon separation from the Navy in 1946, he was admitted into the doctoral program of economics at Stanford University. His dissertation researched the marketing of tropical flowers in Hawaii. He moved to Pasadena in 1953 and completed his doctorate at the University of Southern California in 1957.
Ed joined the UCLA faculty in 1953, initially in the Department of Home Economics and then in the School of Public Health in 1966, where he served as an assistant dean and full professor until his retirement in 1986. Ed’s record of contributions to UCLA, both to the campus as a whole and to the School of Public Health, is outstanding. He served on many academic review committees, both in the Academic Senate and the School of Public Health. During his tenure at UCLA, Ed took his family on sabbatical leave in 1962-1963 to teach at Soochow University, a Methodist-supported institution in Taipei, Taiwan. Upon returning to UCLA, he established the Friends of Soochow, a nonprofit educational foundation devoted to financial support of students and faculty at Soochow with branch organizations in major U.S. cities. Professor Rada was an educator. He believed whole-heartedly in the value of education and how it could transform lives – no matter where in the world. Ed also worked with UCLA and the UCLA library to ship thousands of books to Soochow's library.
After serving for 35 years as president of the Friends of Soochow, the Chinese University honored him by naming a building after him in 2004.
Professor Rada is survived by his wife of nearly 65 years, Esther, and four sons, Stephen of Sante Fe, New Mexico, William of the American Embassy in Accra, Ghana and David and Edward Jr., both of Hollywood, California. Six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren also survive him.
Donald E. Morisky