Gerhard Casper is President Emeritus of Stanford University and a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford (FSI). He is also the Peter and Helen Bing Professor in Undergraduate Education at Stanford, a Professor of Law, and a Professor of Political Science (by courtesy).
Born in 1937, Gerhard Casper grew up in Hamburg, the port city on the Elbe River. Mr. Casper studied law at the universities of Freiburg and Hamburg, where, in 1961, he earned his first law degree. He attended Yale Law School, obtaining his Master of Laws degree in 1962. He then returned to Freiburg, where he received his doctorate in 1964.
In the fall of 1964, Mr. Casper emigrated to the United States, spending two years as Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1966, he joined the faculty of the University of Chicago Law School, and between 1979 and 1987 served as Dean of the Law School. In 1989, Mr. Casper was appointed Provost of the University of Chicago. He served as President of Stanford University from 1992-2000.
Mr. Casper has written and taught primarily in the fields of constitutional law, constitutional history, comparative law, and jurisprudence. From 1977 to 1990, he was an editor of The Supreme Court Review.
His books include a monograph on legal realism (Berlin, 1967), an empirical study of the Supreme Court’s workload (Chicago, 1976, with Richard A. Posner), an empirical study of lay judges in criminal trials (Heidelberg, 1979, with Hans Zeisel), as well as Separating Power (Cambridge, MA, 1997) concerning the separation of powers practices at the end of the 18th century in the United States. About the Stanford presidency, he wrote Cares of the University (Stanford, CA, 1997). He is also the author of numerous scholarly articles and occasional pieces.
He has been elected to membership in the American Law Institute (1977), the International Academy of Comparative Law, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (1980), the Orden Pour le mérite für Wissenschaften und Künste (Order Pour le mérite for the Sciences and Arts) (1993), and the American Philosophical Society (1996). During the fall of 2006, he held the Kluge Chair in American Law and Governance at the Library of Congress. He has been awarded various honorary doctorates.
At present, Mr. Casper serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Central European University in Budapest as well as a member of the Board of Trustees of the American Academy in Berlin. He is also a member of various additional boards, including the Council of the American Law Institute and the Committee for Economic Development. From 2000-2008, he served as a successor trustee of Yale University.
Mr. Casper is married to Regina Casper, M.D. Dr. Casper was a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago before taking an appointment as Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science in the School of Medicine at Stanford, from which she recently retired. She is an authority in the area of depression and eating disorders.
The Caspers’ daughter, Hanna, is a lawyer.