Donald T. Chalkley, director of civil rights for the National Institutes of Health in the 1970s, died of pneumonia May 30, 2005. He was 85.
A native of Louisiana, Chalkley grew up in Baltimore and attended Oberlin College in Ohio before enlisting in the Navy during World War II. Subsequently, he earned a master's at Amherst and a Ph.D. in biology from Princeton. After a brief stint teaching at the University of Notre Dame, Chalkley worked at NIH in institutional relations in the division of research grants. He was director of civil rights there when NIH came under scrutiny for the inadequate oversight of human-use research, some of which involved prison inmates waiving rights to claims of injury. "Give us hell," Chalkley told one reporter, "I guess we deserve it."
A lifelong railroad enthusiast, Chalkley collected model trains and railroad books, and wistfully recalled the days when, as a teenager, he hopped rides on Georgetown trains.
Chalkley was predeceased by his second wife, Virginia, and a daughter, Carol. He leaves behind five more children and two stepchildren.