David Garrow

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David Garrow

Template:TOCnestleft David Garrow is Research Professor of History and Law at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, holding a joint appointment with Pitt Law and the Department of History. Prior to joining Pitt, Garrow was Senior Research Fellow at Homerton College, University of Cambridge.[1]


Garrow was born in Massachusetts in 1953, graduated magna cum laude from Wesleyan University in 1975, and received his Ph.D. from Duke University in 1981. In 2003 he married Virginia Darleen Opfer, now Director of RAND Education and Distinguished Chair in Education Policy.[2]


Garrow is the author of Liberty and Sexuality: The Right to Privacy and the Making of Roe v. Wade (Macmillan, 1994; updated paperback edition, University of California Press, 1998), a comprehensive history of the American reproductive rights struggle. His previous book, Bearing the Cross: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (Morrow, 1986; HarperCollins paperback, 2004), won the 1987 Pulitzer Prize in Biography and the seventh annual Robert F. Kennedy Book Award. Garrow is also the author of The FBI and Martin Luther King, Jr. (Norton, 1981) and Protest at Selma (Yale University Press, 1978), as well as editor of The Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Women Who Started It: The Memoir of JoAnn Gibson Robinson (University of Tennessee Press, 1987). He is co-editor of The Forgotten Memoir of John Knox: A Year in the Life of a Supreme Court Clerk in FDR’s Washington (University of Chicago Press, 2002) and of The Eyes on the Prize Civil Rights Reader (Viking Penguin, 1987, 1991). He served as a senior advisor for "Eyes on the Prize," the award-winning PBS television history of the American Black freedom struggle, and as editorial advisor for the Library of America's two-volume Reporting Civil Rights (2003). He regularly contributes to the Washington Post, the Wilson Quarterly, and New York Times, and in recent years his essays and articles also have appeared in Newsweek, The New Republic, the Financial Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Atlantic Monthly, the New York Review of Books, and The Nation. His academic writings have been published in the Supreme Court Review, the Yale Law Journal, the University of Chicago Law Review, Cornell Law Review, the Virginia Law Review, and Constitutional Commentary. [3]


Garrow has taught at Duke University, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the City University of New York, The Cooper Union (where in 1992-1993 he served as Visiting Distinguished Professor of History), the College of William and Mary (where in 1994-1995 he served as Harrison Professor of History), American University (where in 1995-96 he served as Distinguished Historian in Residence), and Emory University (where from 1997 until 2005 he was Presidential Distinguished Professor). [4]

DSA Conference delegate

In 1983 David Garrow was a Chapel Hill, North Carolina delegate to the Democratic Socialists of America conference in New York City, October 14-16, 1983[5]

DSA member

In 1987, author David Garrow, was a member of Democratic Socialists of America. [6]

DSA’s Cuba Letter

David Garrow signed an April 2003 Statement on Cuba, initiated and circulated[7] by prominent Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) member Leo Casey, calling for the lifting of trade sanctions against Cuba.

“a statement circulating among democratic left/socialist folks, largely by members of Democratic Socialists of America, condemning the recent trials and convictions of non-violent dissenters in Cuba”.

The petition criticized Cuba's poor human rights record, but shared the blame for Cuba's problems with reactionary elements of the U.S. administration...

The democratic left worldwide has opposed the U.S. embargo on Cuba as counterproductive, more harmful to the interests of the Cuban people than helpful to political democratization. The Cuban state's current repression of political dissidents amounts to collaboration with the most reactionary elements of the U.S. administration in their efforts to maintain sanctions and to institute even more punitive measures against Cuba.

Many of the petition's 120 odd signatories were known members of DSA.



  1. [http://www.davidgarrow.com/index.php?P=25, personal website bio, accessed September 16, 2011
  2. [http://www.davidgarrow.com/index.php?P=25, personal website bio, accessed September 16, 2011
  3. [http://www.davidgarrow.com/index.php?P=25, personal website bio, accessed September 16, 2011
  4. [http://www.davidgarrow.com/index.php?P=25, personal website bio, accessed September 16, 2011
  5. DSA Conference delegate list Oct. 12 1983 update
  6. Democratic Left, Jan./Feb. 1987, page 17
  7. http://www.nathannewman.org/log/archives/000912.shtml