Carl Oglesby

Carl Preston Oglesby (July 30, 1935 – September 13, 2011) was an American writer, academic, and political activist. He was the President of the leftist student organization Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) from 1965 to 1966. His father was from South Carolina, and his mother was from Alabama. They met in Akron, Ohio, where the elder Oglesby worked in the rubber mills. He graduated from Revere High School in suburban Akron, winning a prize in his final year for a speech in favor of America’s Cold War stance. Oglesby enrolled at Kent State University for three years before dropping out to attempt to make his way as an actor and playwright in Greenwich Village, a traditionally Bohemian neighborhood in New York City. While at Kent State, he married Beth Rimanoczy, a graduate student in the English department; they ultimately had three children (Aron, Caleb and Shay). After a year in New York, he returned to Akron, where he became a copywriter for Goodyear and continued working on his creative endeavors, including three plays influenced by Britain’s ‘angry young men‘ literary movement (exemplified by ‘a well-received work on the Hatfield-McCoy feud‘) and an unfinished novel. In 1958, Oglesby and his family moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he took a technical writing position with the Bendix Corporation, a defense contractor. He ascended to the directorship of the company’s technical writing division before completing his undergraduate degree as a part-time student at the University of Michigan (where he cultivated a circle of friends that included Donald Hall and Frithjof Bergmann) in 1962.  Oglesby first came into contact with members of SDS in Ann Arbor in 1964. He wrote a critical article on American foreign policy in the Far East in the University of Michigan’s campus magazine. SDSers read it, and went to meet Carl at his family home to see if he might become a supporter of the SDS. … He became so impressed by the spirit and intellectual strength of the SDS that he became deeply involved in the organization. Despite the notable age gap between Oglesby and the traditionally-aged undergraduates who comprised most of the organization’s membership, he became its president within a year. His first project was to be a ‘grass-roots theatre’, but that project was soon superseded by the opposition to escalating American activity in Vietnam; he helped organize a teach-in in Michigan, and to build for the large SDS peace march in Washington on April 17, 1965. …”
NY Times: Carl Oglesby, Antiwar Leader in 1960s, Dies at 76
amazon: The New Left Reader, Ravens in the Storm: A Personal History of the 1960s Anti-War Movement

About 1960s: Days of Rage

Bill Davis - 1960s: Days of Rage
This entry was posted in Books, SDS, Vietnam War and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s