Robert Laughlin Pierson

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Robert Laughlin Pierson (1926–1997) was an Episcopal clergyman and Freedom Rider and a named appellant in Pierson v. Ray, 386 U.S. 547 (1967).


He was born in Chicago in 1926. He graduated from Lawrence University, the University of Wisconsin, and Nashotah House.[1]

He served at St. Barnabas' Episcopal Church. In 1961, he was arrested at Jackson, Mississippi, with the Freedom Riders.[1] Pierson was among the litigants who pursued damages against the police based on the Civil Rights Act of 1871 and was the named appellant in the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court case, Pierson v. Ray which found that the police had Qualified Immunity, and rejected Pierson's claims.[2]

He died on April 13, 1997, in St. Petersburg, Florida.[1]


In 1955, he married Ann Clark Rockefeller, daughter of Nelson Rockefeller. They divorced in 1966.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Saxon, Wolfgang (29 April 1997). "Robert Pierson, Episcopal Priest, 71, Is Dead". The New York Times. p. 10.
  2. ^ Court, United States Supreme (11 January 1967). "386 US 547 Pierson v. J L Ray J L Ray". p. 547. Retrieved 30 June 2020.

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