Howard M. Bahr has been a professor of sociology at Brigham Young University since 1973 and was director of field research for the Middletown IV study in 1999. Brother Bahr received his bachelor's degree in sociology with a minor in psychology from BYU in 1962. He then went to study at the University of Texas at Austin, where he received an MA in 1964 and a PhD in 1965. Both of these were in sociology with minors in geography. He then took a job as a researcher with Columbia University's Bureau of Applied Sociology. He remained in this position until 1968, when he joined the faculty of Washington State University, where he worked as the university's rural sociologist. During this time Brother Bahr wrote his book Skid Row: An Introduction to Disaffiliation, which has been widely cited. In 1973 Dr. Bahr joined the faculty of BYU. He had the previous year been the lead author of a book that rejected Malthusianism and its views on population growth and limits. He would explore this theme in later writings as well. From 1977 to 1983 Dr. Bahr was the director of the BYU Family and Demographic Research Institute. Also in 1976 to 1980 and in 1983 to 1985 he was a visiting professor at the University of Virginia. During this time he did a sociological study in Grenada jointly funded by BYU and the University of Virginia.
Brother Bahr's wife, Kathleen Slaugh Bahr, is also a professor at BYU. She earned a PhD from Michigan State University. They are the parents of four sons and have written at least one book and multiple articles together.