Dean of the University of Chicago Law School: 1979-1987
Gerhard Casper was born in 1937 in Hamburg, Germany. He earned his first law degree from the University of Hamburg in 1961, followed by his L.L.M. (Master of Laws degree) from Yale University in 1962. He received his doctorate from the University of Freiburg in 1964. Casper then spent two years on the Political Science faculty at the University of California at Berkeley before joining the University of Chicago Law School faculty in 1966.
At the University of Chicago, Casper held several different roles on the faculty and in the administration. He was named the Max Pam Professor in 1976, the William B. Graham Professor of Law in 1980, and the William B. Graham Distinguished Service Professor of Law in 1987. He served as dean of the Law School from 1979-1987 and was appointed Provost of the university in 1989.
Casper left the University of Chicago in 1992 when he became the ninth President of Stanford University, a position he held until 2000. At Stanford, Casper is the Peter and Helen Bing Professor, Emeritus, Professor of Law, Emeritus, and Professor of Political Science (by courtesy), Emeritus.
Casper is a Senior Fellow at Stanford’s Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research. He chaired the Terra Foundation for American Art from 2010-2016. Casper served as a successor trustee of Yale University (2008-2016) as well as a trustee of the American Academy in Berlin (2000-2010, 2015-2020) and the Central European University in Budapest (2017-2021). He also sits on the international advisory councils at the Israel Democracy Institute, the European University at St. Petersburg, and Koç University, Istanbul.
Casper has been elected to the American Law Institute (from which he received the Distinguished Service Award in 2014), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the International Academy of Comparative Law, the Order Pour le Mérite for the Sciences and Arts, and the American Philosophical Society. In 2009, Casper was awarded the German Great Cross of the Order of Merit with Star, one of the country’s highest honors.
Casper is married to Dr. Regina Casper. Dr. Casper held professorships in psychiatry at the University of Chicago and Stanford University. They have one daughter, Hanna George, an employment attorney.