George Gallup Jr, the son of Gallup Organisation founder George Gallup, died on 21 November at his home in Princeton, New Jersey, at the age of 81.
Gallup, who was diagnosed with liver cancer a year ago, joined the family business as an executive in 1954 and is often credited with expanding the company’s surveys into religion, a topic he was particularly interested in, as he initially planned on becoming an Episcopal priest.
During his career, Gallup held various positions across the family firm and, together with his brother Alec, served as co-chairman of the company until his retirement in 2004.
He also published several books about the relationship Americans have with religion and spirituality.
After his father died in 1984, Gallup and his wife Kingsley established the George Gallup Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that tried to find possible solutions to the problems the Gallup surveys had identified.
He is survived by two daughters, Alison and Kingsley, and a son, George.
George Gallup Sr founded the American Institute of Public Opinion, the precursor of the Gallup Organisation, in 1935. Gallup, which is considered the leading polling organisation in the US and is best known for its presidential approval ratings, gained popularity when it managed to predict Franklin D Roosevelt’s victory over Alfred Landon in the 1936 presidential election.
In 1988, the family decided to sell its interest in the business to Selection Research, a Nebraska-based market research firm.