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Robert L. Thorndike, one of the nation's leading experts on educational testing, died Sept. 21, the day before his 80th birthday, at an Olympia, Wash., hospital after a short illness.

The author of several books on testing and measurement, Mr. Thorndike was perhaps best known as the co-author of the widely used Cognitive Abilities Test, which was originally called the Lorge-Thorndike Intelligence Test. He was also senior author of the fourth edition of the Stanford-Binet iq test.

Mr. Thorndike, the Richard March Hoe professor emeritus of education and psychology at Columbia University Teachers College, was a member of the Teachers College faculty from 1935 until 1976, and he continued to teach there until 1980. A memorial service will be held at the college at a date to be announced.

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