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Biographical / Historical
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Department of Special Collections and University Archives
Title: Gerhard Casper, president of Stanford University, papers
Stanford University. Office of the
Identifier/Call Number: SC0672
201 Linear Feet
Date (inclusive): 1983-2000
Special Collections and University
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Biographical / Historical
Gerhard Casper is President Emeritus of Stanford University and a Senior Fellow at both the
Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI Stanford) and the Stanford Institute
for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR). He is also the Peter and Helen Bing Professor,
Emeritus, Professor of Law, Emeritus, and Professor of Political Science (by courtesy),
Born in 1937, Gerhard Casper grew up in Hamburg, Germany. Mr. Casper studied law at the
universities of Freiburg and Hamburg, where, in 1961, he earned his first law degree. He
attended Yale Law School, obtaining his Master of Laws degree in 1962. He then returned to
Freiburg, where he received his doctorate in 1964.
In the fall of 1964, Mr. Casper emigrated to the United States, spending two years as
Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley. In
1966, he joined the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School, and between 1979 and
1987 served as Dean of the Law School. In 1989, Mr. Casper was appointed Provost of the
University of Chicago. He served as President of Stanford University from 1992-2000.
Mr. Casper has written and taught primarily in the fields of constitutional law,
constitutional history, comparative law, and jurisprudence. From 1977 to 1990, he was an
editor of The Supreme Court Review.
His books include a monograph on legal realism (Berlin, 1967), an empirical study of the
Supreme Court’s workload (Chicago, 1976, with Richard A. Posner), an empirical study of lay
judges in criminal trials (Heidelberg, 1979, with Hans Zeisel), as well as Separating Power
(Cambridge, MA, 1997) concerning the separation of powers practices at the end of the 18th
century in the United States. About the Stanford presidency, he wrote Cares of the
University (Stanford, CA, 1997). His book, The Winds of Freedom: Addressing Challenges to
the University, was published by Yale University Press in February 2014. He is also the
author of numerous scholarly articles and occasional papers.
He has been elected to membership in the American Law Institute (1977) and its Council
(1980-2010)—in May 2014, he received the Institute's Distinguished Service Award—, the
International Academy of Comparative Law, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1980),
the Order Pour le mérite for the Sciences and Arts (1993), and the American Philosophical
Society (1996). During the fall of 2006, he held the Kluge Chair in American Law and
Governance at the Library of Congress. He has been awarded various honorary doctorates as
well as the German Great Cross of the Order of Merit with Star.
From 2000-2008, he served as a successor trustee of Yale University, from 2000-2009, as a
trustee of the American Academy in Berlin, from 2000-2012, as a trustee of the Central
European University in Budapest, and, from 2007-2014, as a trustee of the Committee for
Economic Development. He currently serves as the chairman of the Board of the Terra
Foundation for American Art and he is a member of international advisory councils at the
Israel Democracy Institute (Chairman since 2014), the European University at St. Petersburg,
and Koç University, Istanbul.
Mr. Casper is married to Regina Casper, M.D. Dr. Casper was a Professor of Psychiatry at
the University of Chicago before taking an appointment as Professor of Psychiatry and
Behavioral Science in the School of Medicine at Stanford, from which she recently retired.
She is an authority in the area of depression and eating disorders.
The Caspers’ daughter, Hanna, is an employment lawyer in the San Francisco Bay Area. They
have two grandchildren.
[identification of item], Gerhard Casper, President of Stanford University, Papers
(SC0672). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University
Libraries, Stanford, Calif.
Subjects and Indexing Terms
Humanities -- United States.
Humanities -- Study and teaching -- California -- Stanford.
Universities and colleges -- Finance.
Law -- Study and teaching -- United States
Universities and colleges -- Administration.
Stanford University -- General subdivision--Presidents.;
Stanford University. Office of the President