Sam was born in Stanford, Ky., and graduated from Stanford High School. At Princeton he majored in history and wrote his thesis on William Jennings Bryan. He was a member of Prospect Club and the Princeton Evangelical Fellowship. He obtained a master’s degree in theology from Union Theological Seminary in Richmond, Va., and then served as pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Bryson City, North Carolina. He later served churches in Campbellsville, Kentucky; and University City, Missouri.
In the early 1960s Sam marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil-rights movement. In 1973 he earned a master’s degree in special education from the University of Pittsburgh, then taught at the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf until he retired and moved to Fort Myers, Fla.
Sam is survived by his wife of 65 years, Patricia; three children; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.