A Guide to the John R. Silber Collection, 1966-1992
John Robert Silber was born on August 15, 1926, in San Antonio, Texas. He graduated from Jefferson High School in 1943, and attended Trinity University in San Antonio. He earned his MA from Yale in 1952 and worked as a teaching assistant and instructor while pursuing his doctoral degree.
Silber joined the faculty of the University of Texas at Austin in 1962, chairing the Philosophy department until 1967, when he became Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Three years later he was removed as Dean by the UT Regents Chairman Frank Craig Erwin. Jr.
At the end of 1970, Silber was named president of Boston University, and he took office in early 1971. He served as President until 1996, except for a one-year leave of absence in 1987 and another one in 1990 when he made an unsuccessful run for governor of Massachusetts. In 1996 he was named University Chancellor, and he also served as head of the Massachusetts Board of Education. He served as Chancellor until 2002, then as President Ad Interium of BU from 2002 to 2003 and President Emeritus from 2002 until his death.
John R. Silber advocated integration at the University of Texas, and was the first person to chair the Texas Society to Abolish Capital Punishment. He married Kathryn Underwood in 1947 and the couple had eight children. On September 27, 2012, Silber died at the age of 86.
John Silber, Wikipedia, accessed December 6, 2016.
The John R. Silber Collection, 1966-1992, contains primarily magazine articles, newspaper clippings, and printed material pertaining to Silber's career at the University of Texas at Austin and at Boston University. A press release from UT from 1966, a speech by Silber, and his curriculum vitae can also be found. A number of catalogs and newsletters from Boston University are also included.
This collection is open for research use.
John R. Silber Collection, 1966-1992, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
This collection was processed by Ralph Elder, June 2007.
Subsequent revisions were made by Jessi Fishman, December 2016.
Detailed Description of the Papers