Professor Who Resigned From the Faculty of the University of Alabama in Protest of the Expulsion of Autherine Lucy Retires From Teaching at Age 89

Harry G. Shaffer has been teaching economics at the University of Kansas for more than 50 years. He will retire from teaching this year at the age of 89.

Born in Vienna, Austria, he fled his homeland in 1938 to avoid the Nazis. After two years in Cuba, he came to the United States in 1940. After serving as a German translator for Army intelligence in World War II, Shaffer went to New York University under the GI Bill.

In 1950 Shaffer joined the faculty at the University of Alabama. Six years later Autherine Lucy became the first black student to enroll at the university. White students rioted and Lucy was “expelled for her own protection.” Shaffer and 27 other faculty members resigned in protest. He was immediately hired by the University of Kansas and has taught there ever since.