Chandler died April 10, 2021, of a massive brain inflammation in Houston.
He was born May 13, 1936, in Texas. After joining the Navy and working in the Louisiana and Texas oil fields, he earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin. Inspired by the sit-ins in North Carolina, Chandler led a group that held “stand-ins” protesting racial segregation at a local cinema.
In 1969 he earned a Ph.D. in sociology at Princeton. While at Princeton he helped organize the nation’s first “teach-in” concerning the Vietnam War.
Chandler spent 37 years on the faculty of Rice University and held the Radoslav A. Tsanoff Chair of Public Affairs and Sociology. A fighter for justice and minority voting rights, as an expert witness Chandler testified in more than 40 trials on behalf of racial and ethnic minorities. His research on racially discriminatory election systems led to his being cited in seven U.S. Supreme Court decisions. In 2006 when the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on the renewal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, he was the lead witness.
Chandler is survived by his wife of 34 years, Sharon Plummer; son Seth; and three grandchildren.
Graduate alumni memorials are prepared by the APGA.