Robert K. Carr

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Robert Kenneth Carr
9th President of Oberlin College
In office
1960 (1960) – November 0, 1970 (1970-11-00)
Preceded by William Stevenson
Succeeded by Robert W. Fuller
Personal details
Born (1908-02-15)February 15, 1908[1]
Cleveland, Ohio
Died February 21, 1979(1979-02-21) (aged 71)[1]
Elyria, Ohio
Spouse(s) Olive Grabill Carr[1]
Children Norman, Elliott, and Robert[1]
Alma mater Dartmouth College (undergraduate)
Harvard University (PhD)
Profession scholar

Robert Kenneth Carr (1908–1979) was an influential American scholar in the field of government/political science. His main area of interest and expertise was in the field of civil liberties/civil rights, and he did the bulk of his writing while on the faculty of Dartmouth College. Carr also served as the executive secretary of President Truman's Committee on Civil Rights and was the primary author of the committee's landmark report, To Secure These Rights (1947), which spotlighted the need for more rigorous federal enforcement of civil rights. He served as president of Oberlin College from 1960–1970.


Carr was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, and graduated from that city's legendary Shaw High School. He went on to earn a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College in 1929, and then did his graduate work at Harvard University, earning an M.A. in 1930 and a Ph.D. in 1935. While completing his doctoral studies, Carr taught at the University of Oklahoma Norman. He joined the department of government at Dartmouth in 1937 and remained there until 1960.

Carr served as the president of Oberlin College during a tumultuous period of student activism. Under his presidency, he increased the school's physical plant, with 15 new buildings completed. Under his leadership, student involvement in college affairs increased, with students serving on nearly all college committees as voting members (including the Board of Trustees). Despite these accomplishments, Carr clashed repeatedly with the students regarding issues related to the Vietnam War. He was forced to resign as President in November 1970, succeeded by the 33-year-old Oberlin alumnus Robert W. Fuller.[1]



  • The Supreme Court and Judicial Review (1942)
  • Federal Protection of Civil Rights (1947)
  • The House Committee on Un-American Activities (1952)


  • American Democracy in Theory and Practice (1951, 1971)
  • Civil Liberties Under Attack (1953)
  • Foundations of Freedom (1958)
  • Aspects of Liberty (1958)


  1. ^ a b c d e Robert K. and Olive Grabill Carr Papers, 1907-1981, Oberlin College Archives. Accessed Dec. 17, 2013.

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