In Memoriam: Lucius Jefferson Barker, 1928-2020

Lucius J. Barker, a political scientist who specialized in constitutional law, civil liberties and African American politics and served as president of the American Political Science Association, died at this home in Northern California on June 21 from complications of Alzheimer’s disease. He was 92 years old.

A native of Franklinton, Louisiana, Dr. Barker earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Southern University in Baton Rouge. He went on to earn a Ph.D. at the University of Illinois.

Dr. Barker began his academic career at the University of Illinois. He returned to Southern University to teach for several years before moving to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. In 1969, Washington University in St. Louis recruited him to teach and chair the political science department as the Edna Fischel Gellhorn Professor. Professor Barker taught at Stanford from 1990 until retiring in 2006 as the William Bennett Munro Professor of Political Science, Emeritus.

Barker served as president of the Midwest Political Science Association and was the founding editor of the National Political Science Review, a publication of the National Conference of Black Political Scientists, an organization for which he also served as president. He was the author of several books and textbooks. His book Our Time Has Come (University of Illinois Press, 1988) related his experiences working on the presidential campaigns of Rev. Jesse Jackson.

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