Murray Clark Havens
August 21, 1932 – March 19, 2022
Dr. Murray Clark Havens of Nashville passed away peacefully in his home on March 19, 2022,
at the age of 89.
Born in Council Grove, Kansas on August 21,1932 to Ralph Murray and Catherine Clark
Havens, the family lived in various parts of the United States during the depression and war
years before settling in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in 1946.
In 1948 Clark’s father, a Professor of Economics at the University of Alabama, moved the
family to Paris for a year while assisting with The Marshall Plan. Clark, along with his younger
brother Harry, attended the multinational American Community School in Paris, where many of
the students were children of refugees from Eastern Europe and Spain.
The family returned to Tuscaloosa in 1949 and Clark graduated from Tuscaloosa High School in
1950; three years later he graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Alabama. Clark then
attended Johns Hopkins University as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, receiving a Master of Arts
degree in Political Science in 1954.
After serving as an officer in the United States Army from 1954-1956, Clark returned to Johns
Hopkins, where he met his wife Agnes Marie Scharf who he married on July 5, 1958. That same
year he received his PhD, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Brookings Institution in
From 1959-1961 Clark taught Political Science at Duke University. In 1961 he took a position at
the University of Texas in Austin, where he remained until 1973. In 1965 he published his first
book: The Challenges to Democracy: Consensus and Extremism in American Politics (which
continues to remain remarkably relevant in today’s current political climate). In 1966 he traveled
to Australia for a year as a visiting lecturer at the University of Sydney.
When his wife Agnes died of cancer in 1969, he was devastated but devoted to raising his two
small children by himself. The family relocated to Lubbock in 1973 where he took a position as
professor of Political Science at Texas Tech University until his retirement in 1999. During his
time in Lubbock he was active in the American Civil Liberties Union.
Toward the end of his career, with his children grown, Clark reunited with his old friend from
high school, Carolyn Trost. After seeing each other many times over several years they married.
On their wedding rings he inscribed the word finally, as he had finally found the happiness he
had longed for. Clark and Carolyn remained together for twenty-five years until his death.
After retirement Clark took up offshore sailing on his boat the Scholar Gypsy, and after he and
his new wife, Carolyn, completed their sailing adventures, they sold the boat and traveled
extensively throughout the world. Known for his fierce intellect, Clark continued to read
prodigiously throughout his life. He loved animals, and when he left this world his favorite cat
Earle was at his feet.
Clark is survived by his wife Carolyn Trost Havens, son Colin Havens and wife Alla Havens,
daughter Theresa Havens and husband Michael Kobrin: stepchildren Grey Griffin, Andrew
Griffin, Marguerite (Maggi) Dunne and husband Mike Dunne, Alexander (Alex) Griffin and wife
Stefanie Kisselburg; grandchildren Nicole (Nikki) Crawford and husband Jason Crawford,
Mathew Havens and wife Oksana Havens, Maya Havens, Peter Griffin and wife Theresa Griffin,
Ivie Hoffmann and husband Charles Hoffmann, Carly Lynn and husband Chris Lynn, Woodard
Dunne and wife Sarah Dunne, Thomas McDade Dunne, Alec E. Griffin; great-grandchildren
Bradley and Rory Crawford, Luke and Jake Griffin, and Clara, Lucy Grey and Thomas Hoffmann.
Despite his many professional accomplishments, it was his family that Clark was most proud of.
Generous and compassionate, Clark always approached life with profound humility and unfailing
kindness. His gentle, endearing spirit lives on in the hearts of all who knew him.