DUKE UNIVERSITY SENIOR
midway through a semester in Terry San-
ford's course on creativity in state government was asked to explain what
he and his fellow students were really studying. Without hesitation, the
young man replied, "I'm studying him."
Indeed, during the course of his more than forty years in public life,
Sanford had seen more, done more, and appeared in public print more
than any of his contemporaries. He had been a World War II paratrooper,
lawyer and magistrate, state legislator, governor, presidential candidate,
university president, and u.S. Senator. He had written four books on top-
ics ranging from the presidential nominating process to aging, and he was
working on a novel when he died.
He could have been describing himself when he characterized the vision
of Duke's early leaders as "outrageous ambitions." Rather than honor tra-
dition and wait for his "time" to run for governor, he broke in line and won
a historic race in 1960. A decade later, when college administrators were
huddled in "war rooms" to defend their campuses against student protest,
Sanford walked into crowds of students and talked with earnest young
people who believed they could change the world. He carried some of these
same new voters with him into two presidential campaigns, an ambition
for national office that most of his old friends never really understood. And
he won election to the u.S. Senate at an age when his contemporaries were
shifting comfortably into retirement.
Outrageous ambitions. That was why the authors approached Sanford
late in 1992 and asked if he would cooperate in the writing of this biogra-
phy. He considered the request and agreed, with two conditions: that all
material gathered in the course of the research be deposited at Duke Uni-
versity and that he be permitted to read the manuscript for factual errors.
Sanford offered complete assistance. He provided unlimited access to