Robert S. Gabriner Papers, 1961-1981 (bulk 1965-1979)


Robert S. Gabriner, son of Hyman and Dorothy Gabriner, was born in New York City, September 7, 1941. He attended Cornell University, where he was editor of the student newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun, and received a B.A. degree in 1963. Gabriner pursued his graduate studies in history at the University of Wisconsin in Madison and received an M.A. in 1966, and worked toward a Ph.D. until he left school early in 1968. Gabriner also continued his editing career in Madison, serving as editor of the underground newspaper Connections, and was active in anti-Vietnam War and draft resistance groups. Gabriner was also involved in student organizations, like the History Students Association, while he was a graduate student at UW-Madison.

During parts of 1965 and 1966 Gabriner and his wife, Vicki Levins Gabriner, worked with the West Tennessee Voters Project and the Tennessee Freedom Labor Union and served as organizers and teachers in Fayette County, Tennessee. While living in Madison they made periodic trips throughout the South to participate in Civil Rights activities as well as working as field archivists during the early collecting phases of the Civil Rights Collection of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.

In February 1968 Bob Gabriner moved to San Francisco, where he joined the staff of the journal Leviathan; by 1970 he was managing editor. During this time he also taught at Laney College in Oakland for a few years. During this time Gabriner also became involved in many radical and activist causes, such as with the Weather Underground; the Bay Area's People's Press; making trips to Cuba in 1972 and 1979 to assess the workings of socialism; human rights; liberation of African-Americans and Africans; local community organizing; and the Puerto Rican Solidarity Committee (PRSC) serving as co-coordinator of the Bay Area Chapter (San Francisco) of the PRSC. Also in the late 1970s, Gabriner used the Freedom of Information Act to acquire copies of the FBI files compiled about him during the 1960s and 1970s.

Gabriner currently holds a doctorate in education from the University of California-Berkeley and is the Senior Vice-Chancellor for Institutional Advancement at the City College of San Francisco. He has written on the subject of community college education and is still active in educational issues in the San Francisco area.