The Directors and staff of the Amistad Research Center are saddened to announce the death of Warren Q. Marr, II. Mr. Marr passed away on Tuesday, April 20, 2010, after devoting a significant portion of his life to preserving the legacy of the Amistad Event. He was instrumental in the founding of the Amistad Research Center, helped found Amistad Affiliates and the creation of a replica of the schooner La Amistad, and was a member of numerous other organizations, including the NAACP. Warren Q. Marr II was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on July 31, 1916. He attended Wilberforce University, where he studied journalism and printing. He worked as a linotype operator for The St. Louis Argus beginning in 1938, and worked in that same capacity and as assistant editor for The Plaindealer in Kansas City, Kansas, from 1939 to 1942. Following his newspaper work, Marr worked as a concert promoter and for James Lassiter and Sons in Madison, New Jersey, as a drapery maker and assistant. Marr continued his interest in printing as the proprietor of The House of Marr, a print shop specializing in “art” printing and greeting cards. Mr. Marr and Carmel Carrington were married in 1948 and had two children, Warren Quincy, III and Charles Carrington.
In 1968, Marr was hired as an assistant in the public relations department of the NAACP. He served as editor of the organization's house organ, The Crisis, from 1974 to 1980. He also produced and was principal interviewer for The Black Man and Civil Rights, a radio series for the NAACP.
More information regarding the varied interests and accomplishments of Warren Marr II can be found here.
The Marr Family Papers are currently being processed as part of the Amistad Research Center’s Hidden Collections project. The papers largely document the lives and careers of Warren Marr, II, his wife Carmel, and his sister Grace Marr Nugent, and related families. Carmel Carrington Marr was a lawyer who became the first woman and African American to serve on the New York State Public Service Commission (1971-1986) when she was appointed by Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller. She served on a variety of national utility commissions, state and national committees, and was Advisor on Legal Affairs to the United States Mission to the United Nations, from 1953-1967. Grace Marr Nugent was trained as a nurse. She taught and was director of education at the Harlem Hospital School of Nursing before becoming superintendent of nursing education for the New York State Department of Education. She married Harlem Renaissance writer/artist Bruce Nugent in 1952. In total, the Marr Family Papers date from circa 1750 to the 1980s.
“Working for Freedom: Documenting Civil Rights Organizations” is a collaborative project between Emory University, the Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History, the Amistad Research Center at Tulane University, and the Robert W. Woodruff Library of Atlanta University Center to uncover and make available previously hidden collections documenting the Civil Right Movement in Atlanta and New Orleans. The Project is administered by the Council on Library and Information Resources with funds from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.