Skip to Content

Garver, Newton, 1928-2014

 Person

Biographical Note

Newton Garver was born April 24, 1928 in Buffalo, New York. He was associated with the University at Buffalo Philosophy department for almost forty years, first as a lecturer (1961-1966), and later as a faculty member (1966-1995). Prof. Garver earned his bachelor's in philosophy from Oxford University in 1954 and his Ph.D. from Cornell in 1965. He served as Faculty Senate Chair, and was the recipient of the SUNY Distinguished Service Professor Award.

He authored six books and more than one hundred articles on Ludwig Wittgenstein. Newton was a long-time leader in the Quaker community and peace activist in the Western New York region.

He is best known for his refusal in 1964 to sign the "Feinberg Oath," an anti-Communist loyalty oath, arguing the oath went against his Quaker beliefs. With other UB faculty members, Garver filed a suit against the Feinberg Law. In 1967, the case went before the US Supreme Court which found the law unconstitutional.

Newton Garver died on February 8, 2014 at age 85 in East Concord, New York.
Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Citizens' Council on Human Relations records

 Collection — Box: 1-26
Identifier: MS 07
Overview The collection contains correspondence, news clippings, policy statements, printed materials, and speech notes, reflecting the actions the Citizens' Council on Human Relations (CCHR) while seeking to end discrimination, particularly against African-Americans, in Buffalo, N.Y. There are also organizational files, consisting of by-laws, newsletters and membership lists, which reflect the internal workings of CCHR itself.