The Emperor of Ocean Park
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Photo (c) Elena Seibert

Stephen L. Carter is the William Nelson Cromwell Professor of Law at Yale, where he has taught since 1982. A prolific writer who has published seven critically acclaimed non-fiction books during the past nine years, he has helped shape the national debate on issues ranging from the role of religion in our politics and culture to the role of integrity and civility in our daily lives.

Professor Carter, 46, was born in Washington, D.C., the second of five children, and attended the public schools of Washington, New York City, and Ithaca, New York. He received his bachelor's degree from Stanford University and his law degree from Yale University. Before joining the Yale faculty, he served as a law clerk for Judge Spottswood W. Robinson, III, of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and for Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. He also briefly practiced law at a firm in Washington.

A recent review in the New York Times referred to Professor Carter as one of the nation's leading public intellectuals, and, in 1994, he was selected by Time magazine as one of fifty leaders for the new millennium. Professor Carter's writings have won praise from across the political spectrum. His most recent book, God's Name in Vain: The Wrongs and Rights of Religion in Politics, was published in the fall of 2000 to admiring reviews. His 1993 book, The Culture of Disbelief: How American Law and Politics Trivialize Religious Devotion, was lauded by commentators as diverse as Anna Quindlen, William F. Buckley, and former President Bill Clinton. His 1998 book Civility: Manners, Morals, and the Etiquette of Democracy, was praised by, among others, Marian Wright Edelman, the late John Cardinal O'Connor, and former Senator Bill Bradley. His other books include The Dissent of the Governed: A Meditation on Law, Religion, and Loyalty (1998); Integrity (1996); The Confirmation Mess: Cleaning Up the Federal Appointments Process (1994); and Reflections of an Affirmative Action Baby (1991).

Professor Carter is a member of the American Law Institute and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is a trustee of the Aspen Institute, where he moderates seminars for executives on values-based leadership. He has received honorary degrees from six schools, among them Notre Dame, Colgate, and the Virginia Theological Seminary. He was the first non-theologian to receive the prestigious Louisville-Grawemeyer Award in religion. He publishes widely in law reviews and the popular press, and has been a frequent guest on such television shows as Nightline, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer, and Face the Nation. He is also a columnist for Christianity Today.

Professor Carter lives with is wife, Enola Aird, and their two children, Leah and Andrew, near New Haven, Connecticut. They attend one of the oldest predominantly black Episcopal churches in the country. In his spare time, Professor Carter plays chess, reads history, theology, and fiction, and helps run a Boy Scout troop in New Haven.