The AHA is saddened to report the death of Robert M. Warner on April 24, 2007, in Ann Arbour, Michigan, of a heart attack. Warner served as the sixth Archivist of the United States from July 1980 to April 15, 1985. During his term, Warner was instrumental in making the national archives an independent federal agency, capable of requesting its own budget from Congress, where it had previously been under the auspices of the General Services Administration and the whims of political appointees who did not necessarily have library or archives experience. Thanks to his passionate behind-the-scenes efforts, Congress created the National Archives and Records Administration as an independent federal agency starting April 1, 1985, two weeks before he retired.
Robert Warner was born in Colorado in 1927, received his BA at Muskingum College in 1949, and his PhD in history from the University of Michigan in 1958. He was director of Michigan Historical Collections before his federal service. After retiring from the National Archives, he returned to Michigan were he served as dean of the School of Library Science and wrote a memoir about the fight to make the archives independent, Diary of a Dream.
The AHA will be soliciting an In Memoriam essay on Robert Warner for a future issue of Perspectives.