Edd Doerr, a former staff member of Americans United who edited Church & State magazine throughout the 1970s and early ’80s, died on Feb. 6 at age 89.
Often celebrated for his encyclopedic knowledge of church-state issues, Doerr had a special interest in the issue of tax aid to religious schools. He was the author of numerous books, among them The Conspiracy That Failed, an in-depth look at a 1967 effort to rewrite the New York Constitution to allow for vouchers. (The measure was handily rejected by voters at the polls.)
Doerr also co-authored (with his longtime collaborator Albert J. Menendez) the 2002 book Great Quotations on Religious Freedom. He was the author of thousands of letters to the editor on church-state issues, many of which he compiled into books. He was also a columnist on church-state issues for The Humanist and Free Inquiry.
In 1982, Doerr left Americans United to start a group called Americans for Religious Liberty. He ran that group and edited its newsletter until December 2016, when the organization ceased operations.
Doerr, who was born in Indianapolis in 1930 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University in 1956, was active in Humanist and Unitarian Universalist circles. He is survived by his wife Herenia and their two children, Helena and Eric.