Carl Oglesby, Antiwar Leader in 1960s, Dies at 76


Carl Oglesby, who led Students for a Democratic Society as it publicly opposed the Vietnam War but who was later expelled by a radical faction that became the Weather Underground, died on Tuesday at his home in Montclair, N.J. He was 76.

The cause was lung cancer, said his partner, Barbara Webster.

Mr. Oglesby, who left a military industry job and a comfortable lifestyle to join S.D.S., was the organization’s president from 1965 to 1966. Trained as an actor and a playwright, he was regarded as one of the most eloquent spokesmen of the period.

“He was the great orator of the white New Left,” Todd Gitlin, a Columbia University professor who was the president of S.D.S. from 1963 to 1964, said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “His voice was a well-practiced instrument.”

Mr. Oglesby’s speech “Let Us Shape the Future,” delivered at an antiwar rally in Washington on Nov. 27, 1965, is considered a landmark of American political rhetoric. In it, he condemned the “corporate liberalism” — American economic interests disguised as anti-Communist benevolence — that, he argued, underpinned the Vietnam War....

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