Donald Barr

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Donald Barr
Donald Barr (1974 Dalton School yearbook).jpg
Born(1921-08-08)August 8, 1921
DiedFebruary 5, 2004(2004-02-05) (aged 82)
Alma materColumbia College (B.S., 1941)
Known forheadmaster of Dalton School
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Mary Margaret Ahern
Children4, including William and Stephen

Donald Barr (August 8, 1921 – February 5, 2004) was an Office of Strategic Services (OSS) agent, an American educator, and a writer. He taught English at Columbia University, was headmaster at the Dalton School in New York City (1964–74) and the Hackley School in Tarrytown, New York[1], and wrote two science fiction novels.[2] One of his sons is United States Attorney General William Barr.

Early life and education[edit]

Barr was born in Manhattan, New York, the son of Estelle (née DeYoung), a psychologist, and Pelham Barr, an economist.[2][3] He and his wife, Mary Margaret (née Ahern), had four children including William P. Barr (who served as the 77th U.S. Attorney General in the George H. W. Bush Administration and currently serves as the 85th U.S. Attorney General in the Donald Trump Administration)[4][5] and particle physicist Stephen Barr.[6]

He was born to a Jewish family, but later converted to Catholicism; he sent his children to a Catholic elementary school and his son William would later describe him as "more Catholic than the Catholics." [7][8]

Barr graduated from Columbia College in 1941 where he majored in mathematics and anthropology.[6]


Barr served in the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) during World War II.[5] He was teaching English at Columbia University in 1955.[9] He initiated the Columbia University Science Honors Program in 1958 and was its director until 1964.[5]

Donald Barr was headmaster of the Dalton School from 1964 to 1974.[10] During his time as Dalton's headmaster, Barr is alleged to have had a role in hiring Jeffrey Epstein as a math teacher despite the fact that Epstein had dropped out of college and was only 21 years old at the time.[11][12] In 1973, Donald Barr published Space Relations, a science-fiction novel about a planet ruled by oligarchs who perform child sex slavery. It has been noted that the plot of the novel reflects the crimes of Jeffrey Epstein.[13]

Barr worked as an educator in and around New York City from the 1950s to 1980s and reviewed books for The New York Times.[5][9] In addition to his two science fiction novels, he sold two stories to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction; one of these (the 2002 "Sam") was reprinted in the 2003 anthology Year's Best Fantasy 3.

In 1983 President Reagan nominated Donald Barr to be a member of the National Council on Educational Research.[14]

Selected works[edit]


  1. ^ Maeroff, Gene I. "Barr Puts His Stamp on Hackley". New York Times. Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  2. ^ a b "Donald Barr (1921–2004)". Retrieved 2010-10-08.
  3. ^ Reginald, R. (Sep 1, 2010). Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature Vol 2. Wildside Press LLC. ISBN 9780941028776. Retrieved Feb 14, 2019 – via Google Books.
  4. ^ Savage, Charlie; Haberman, Maggie (2018-12-07). "Trump Will Nominate William P. Barr as Attorney General". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-12-07.
  5. ^ a b c d Saxon, Wolfgang (February 10, 2004). "Donald Barr, 82, Headmaster And Science Honors Educator". The New York Times. p. A25. Retrieved 2010-10-08.
  6. ^ a b "Obituaries". Columbia College Today. May 2004. Retrieved May 30, 2020.
  7. ^ Brenner, Marie (7 October 2019). ""I Had No Problem Being Politically Different". Vanity Fair.
  8. ^ Miller, Judith (Jan 11, 2019). "Stepping Into the Fire". City Journal. Retrieved Feb 14, 2019.
  9. ^ a b Barr, Donald (May 1, 1955). "Shadowy World of Men and Hobbits". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 24, 2012. Retrieved 2010-10-08. (review of The Two Towers)
  10. ^ Maeroff, Gene I. "Barr Quits Dalton School Post, Charging Trustees' Interference". Retrieved 2020-06-21.
  11. ^ Mike Baker & Amy Julia Harris (2019-07-12). "Jeffrey Epstein Taught at Dalton. His Behavior Was Noticed". The New York Times. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  12. ^ The Editors (2019-07-22). "Who Was Jeffrey Epstein Calling? A close study of his circle — social, professional, transactional — reveals a damning portrait of elite New York". New York. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  13. ^ Ferreira, Becky (2019-08-16). "Epstein Truthers Are Obsessed With a Sci-Fi Book About Child Sex Slavery Written by Bill Barr's Dad". Vice. Retrieved 2019-10-23.
  14. ^ Ronald Reagan: Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, 1985

External links[edit]