WOODROW WILSON HIGH SCHOOL Alumni
PAUL LONGMORE 1960-1963 (CLASS OF 1964)
Dr. Paul Longmore, 64, a leading disability scholar and activist who taught at San Francisco State died of natural causes on August 9, 2010. Paul attended Wilson from 1960 to 1963 (and was heading to graduate with his class of 1964 but left after his junior year when his family moved to Southern California in the spring of 1963.) Paul's sister Ellen Longmore Brown lives in Ohio and attended WWHS for her freshman year 1963. According to Valerie J. Nelson from the LA Times, Paul was unable to use his hands because of a childhood bout with polio and helped establish disability studies as a field of academic research and teaching. He also wrote some of the first academic and historical articles about how disabled people have been depicted in popular culture. In his 2003 book, "Why I Burned My Book and Other Essays on Disability," he challenged popular views of assisted suicide, which he had campaigned against legalizing in California, and highlighted the relatively unknown history of the disability rights movement during the Depression. According to Disability Rights California, “Paul was one of the most engaging and wide-ranging speakers on disability policy throughout American history and we were honored to work with him and have him present at our staff trainings,” said Catherine Blakemore, executive director of Disability Rights California. Staff attorney Stephen Rosenbaum noted: “I once heard Paul introduced as the ‘James Dean’ of Disability Studies – that captures the combination of intellectual, rebel and down-to-earth man he was.” Margaret Johnson, advocacy director, recalled: “In addition to his contributions to the disability civil rights movement, he taught me academic and disability history lessons and – he had the best sense of humor.” There was a celebration of Paul's life on October 23, 2010. The celebration was held at SF State with a reception following the ceremony. Click here to read Paul's curriculum Vitae.
The Paul K. Longmore Institute for Disability Studies at San Francisco State University promotes interdisciplinary education, training, research and service in disability-related areas. The Institute develops partnerships with programs that serve the disability community on the campus, locally and statewide, nationally and internationally. The Institute provides leadership in disability studies, including but not limited to social psychology, social work, physical therapy, design and industry, education, rehabilitation, and the humanities.
The Institute initiates and supports projects that lead to:
- curriculum development across disciplines and at all educational levels
- graduate student research
- revisions to public policy
- scholarly publications
The University is particularly proud of the leading role played by the institute in reconceptualizing disability and the role of disabled peoples, with vast implications for civil rights law, social welfare policies, architectural design and assistive technology, and professional training and service delivery in disability-related fields.
If you’d like to make your gift online, you may do so at: https://www.applyweb.com/public/contribute?s=sfudonat. To ensure that your gift is properly allocated, please select “Other” from the “I would Like to support” value list and type “Paul Longmore Fund” in the “If “Other”, enter designation:” text box in the “About your gift” section. When making donations, please type WWHS in the space, so they can identify and track our donations in support of Paul's work.
For mail in donations:
Please make your checks payable to
San Francisco State University Corporation,
with “Dr. Paul Longmore Memorial Fund” written on the notation line and write WWHS on the check, so they can identify and track our donations in support of Paul's work.
Your tax deductible contribution can be mailed to:
SF State, University Development
1600 Holloway, ADM 153
San Francisco, CA 94132
(415 338-1668) for questions