James W. Vaupel became a leading theoretical demographer and a cross-national institution builder over the five decades of his career. From 1972 to 1985 he was a full-time faculty member at Duke in what is now the Sanford School of Public Policy. But, despite holding subsequent positions on the faculty at the University of Minnesota, as founding director of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany, and as Professor at the University of Southern Denmark, he remained an inspirational and generous research collaborator with Duke faculty in the population sciences, and most recently the Duke University Population Research Institute (DUPRI) which he helped found in the early 2000s as Research Professor in Sanford. He continued to submit successful grant proposals from Duke through DUPRI as a Research Professor in the last two decades, including a NIH P30 Center infrastructure grant for the demography of aging (2009-2014) and a P01 on sex differences in aging and mortality that ended in 2020. He nourished innovative demographic research at Duke and contributed to its distinctive interdisciplinary model that transcends the natural and social sciences in a network of mathematicians, actuaries, biologists, geneticists, medical scientists, epidemiologists and formal and social demographers. These efforts contributed to and helped to sustain Duke’s preeminence in demography, and particularly in the biodemography of aging and senescence.