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Elmo Roper, born in 1900, was a leader in the fields of public opinion polling and market research for more than 30 years. He did not have formal academic training in these fields and, in fact, did not finish college. Rather, as the co-owner of a jewelry store in the 1920s, he became interested in customer opinions. He eventually left the jewelry business, and in 1933 he became a co-founder of one of the country's first market research firms, Cherington, Roper and Wood. Five years later Roper left that firm to found Roper Research Associates, Inc. He retired from the firm in 1966 but remained a senior consultant until his death in 1971.

Roper was deeply involved in popularizing market research and public opinion polling and ...

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