Robert Sokol was born on May 26, 1926 in New York City. He received his BA from Long Island University and his PhD in sociology from Columbia University. Sokol began teaching in the Sociology Department of Dartmouth College in 1961 and remained there for more than 50 years. Sokol's research during that time was focused on educational outcomes for students in higher education. He was a conscientious objector during World War II and was active in the Civil Rights movement in the 1950's and 60's. He was also an early advocate for women’s reproductive rights as well as the admission of women to Dartmouth. Sokol died on October 8, 2016.