Colleagues and former students are remembering Professor Charles E. Carr as a thoughtful teacher and an inspiring mentor, someone who pushed students to think deeply about the justice system and work to make it even-handed.
Carr, who taught at the School of Law from 1982 to 2010, died Dec. 6 in Spartanburg, S.C. He was 77 years old.
At UB Law, Carr taught Trial Technique, Evidence, Criminal Procedure, Constitutional Law and Legal Writing, introducing generations of law students to how the courts work—while at the same time sensitizing them to the reality of racial bias. He served on several anti-racism and bias training committees, and was a go-to source for journalists seeking perspective on issues and events in the news.
“Professor Carr made every effort to mentor and support students, like me, who were first generation,” Hon. Betty Calvo-Torres ’98, judge of the Court of Claims, New York State Supreme Court, wrote in tribute. “He understood the unique challenges we faced and inspired us to persevere. He was accessible and kind. He is, in no small way, responsible for the success of many.”
“Charles was a pleasure,” said Professor Emeritus Ken Joyce. “Very affectionate, the best sense of humor, and a very good teacher.”
Carr cut a distinctive figure in the law school, not least for his personal style. “He was always meticulously dressed in a beautiful suit with a rose in his lapel,” one former student recalled. “He exuded confidence and elegance.”
Born in Manhattan, Carr grew up in Brooklyn and completed a tour of military service in Vietnam. He earned his undergraduate degree summa cum laude from Medgar Evers College, City University of New York, and the JD from Howard University Law School in 1977. He came to UB Law after serving for several years in the New York City special prosecutor’s office.
In Buffalo, Carr pursued his passion for golf, playing nearly every day in decent weather at Delaware Park and other courses. A student of the game, he was known to his golfing buddies as “the Professor.”
Carr is survived by his wife, Rev. Donna Maree; sons Justin and Spencer; a sister, and many nieces, nephews and cousins. A memorial service is planned for April 15 in Spartanburg, S.C. Donations in Carr’s memory may be sent to the Howard University School of Law.