Professor Roger D. Fisher ’48, 1922-2012

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It is the spring of 1997 and I am sitting in Pound 107 while Roger Fisher ’48, Williston Professor of Law, Emeritus, is telling a story about his serving as a weather reconnaissance pilot in World War II. As a teaching assistant for the Negotiation Workshop, I have heard the story at least a dozen times by now and feel my mind wandering. And yet, against my will, as the story reaches its crescendo and the combination punch line/negotiation lesson flows from Roger’s lips, I find myself involuntarily leaning forward and, a second later, helplessly bursting into laughter. The note I jot down to myself is: “All of life is about who tells better stories.”

Michael Young discusses his role as facilitator in anti-apartheid negotiations (video)

Michael Young

“I took the view that what we ought to be talking about and thinking about was universal suffrage,” stated Michael Young in a lecture at Harvard Law School titled, “The Secret Talks That Led to the Fall of Apartheid.”  As a British businessman in the 1980s, Young initiated and led unprecedented talks between the African National Congress and the South African government that led to the end of apartheid in South Africa.