M. Brewster Smith, Witness in Landmark Case

Article Tools
  • PrintPrinter-Friendly
  • EmailEmail Article
  • ReprintReprints
  • CommentsComments

A professor emeritus at the University of California, Santa Cruz, whose research and testimony contributed to the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision died Aug. 4 after a brief illness. M. Brewster Smith was 93. Mr. Smith joined the university as vice chancellor for social sciences in 1970, serving in that capacity until 1975. He continued working as a professor of psychology until retiring in 1988.

In 1952, then at Vassar College, Mr. Smith testified as an expert witness against segregation in a case before a Richmond, Va., federal appeals court, one of four lower-court cases that led to the Supreme Court's decision to ban school segregation in Brown. Mr. Smith, who testified that segregation harmed a child's self-esteem and thus affected his or her ability to learn, considered his testimony to be among his greatest contributions to society.

His career spanning more than six decades focused on the interplay of psychological and political processes, according to UC-Santa Cruz.

Vol. 32, Issue 01, Page 5

Published in Print: August 22, 2012, as M. Brewster Smith, Witness in Landmark Case
Related Stories
Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Back to Top Back to Top

Most Popular Stories