Elmo Roper 1968 Interview
The recordings from that interview are now available below.
On August 14, 1968, Elmo Roper was interviewed by Bob Carlson, director of public opinion research for Standard Oil Company, as part of an intended series of AAPOR/Roper Center interviews with leading figures in polling. Over the course of nearly two hours, Roper spoke candidly about the origins of market and public opinion research, his work for Fortune magazine, the war years, the 1948 election fiasco, and much more. Rich with insight and anecdote, this conversation shed light on the factors that affected the development of public opinion research in its early years. Roper discusses the birth of “public opinion” work in a survey done for a water company in Savannah and the founding of the Fortune Survey under their auspices. The Fortune Survey and Gallup formed the first “scientific” attempts at sampling in 1935. In 1936, the third major polling outfit was born when Archibald Crossley was hired by Hearst Publications to conduct polls.