Staughton Lynd, Historian and Activist Turned Labor Lawyer, Dies at 92
Staughton Lynd, president of the American Association of University Professors, and one of the most influential labor and civil rights lawyers during the 1950s and 1960s, died today at a hospital in Washington, D.C., following a long illness. He was 92.
Lynd passed away at the University of North Carolina, where he completed his undergraduate degree in mathematics and entered the law program in 1942. He graduated that year and was hired by his local firm, Wm. H. Tillinghast, to practice labor and civil rights, specifically voting rights. He joined the firm in 1948, and practiced law for 20 years. He served on the board of the NAACP in 1952-1953. In 1956 he started the American Association of University Professors, which he chaired for more than 15 years.
He served as president from 1962 until his retirement in 1975. During that time he also served as chancellor of the UNC system. In 1977, he became the first president of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences of the AAUP and served in that position until 1990.
He was the author of several books, including the Pulitzer prize-winning The Conscience of a Liberal, which was an early assessment of liberal political thought. The book also had an impact on the intellectual work that emerged at the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, the forerunner of today’s National Academy of Sciences.
Lynd was also a renowned attorney on the topic of labor law, and a passionate scholar. He taught labor law at the University of Iowa, where he was a professor, and the law school of Washington University in St. Louis. Among his scholarly contributions were The Social Organization of the Labor Force (1944) and The Unions and the Law in America (1950), which were widely circulated in the field.
Lynd also co-authored the first definitive