Edward H. Peeples Jr., Ph.D. (B.S.’57/E), a longtime civil rights advocate and professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, died on Sept. 7. He was 84.
Peeples was emeritus associate professor of preventive medicine and community health at VCU. His academic focus was in the fields of medical behavioral science, public health, epidemiology and sociology, but he also conducted extensive research in issues of social justice and was a civil rights advocate who was involved in a variety of human rights reforms in Virginia and elsewhere in the South.
“Ed was a beloved figure in our community life, and deeply respected for his passion and activism in social justice and human rights,” said John Ulmschneider, dean of libraries and university librarian at VCU.
Peeples, who was born in 1935, was an alumnus of Richmond Professional Institute, where he received a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education in 1957 and was a member of the basketball team. He later received a master’s degree in human relations (intergroup relations) from the University of Pennsylvania in 1963 and a Ph.D. in sociology with a concentration in medical behavioral science from the University of Kentucky in 1972. He taught at the Medical College of Virginia and RPI beginning in 1963, left to focus on his Ph.D., and then returned to teach at the newly formed VCU in 1968.