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Subject: Robert R. Barker, 87, Endowment Expert

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Date Posted: November 16, 2002 2:03:18 EDT

Robert R. Barker, a Wall Street executive and expert on educational endowments who was president of Harvard University's board of overseers in 1988 and 1989, died on Nov. 8 at a hospice in Stamford, Conn. He was 87 and lived in New Canaan.

Mr. Barker was a general partner in the investment firms of William A. M. Burden & Company and Barker, Lee & Company, after working at J. P. Morgan & Company.

In 1969 he was the chairman of a Ford Foundation advisory committee that issued a report, "Managing Educational Endowments," advising the best ways to handle university investments. He gave Harvard a contribution that it used to convert the old student union and first-year dining hall into the Barker Center for the Humanities.

Mr. Barker was a trustee of several nonprofit organizations and foundations, including the J. M. R. Barker Foundation, which he founded, and, from 1968 to 1999, the American Museum of Natural History.

Robert Rankin Barker was born in Brookline, Mass., and graduated from Harvard in 1936. He was a Navy officer in World War II.

He married Elizabeth VanDyke Shelly in 1942. She died in 1997.

He is survived by his wife, the former Frances Trainer Salant; two sons, James R., of Gloucester, Mass., and W. B., of San Antonio; two daughters, Ann S. Barker of Ripton, Vt., and Margaret B. Clark of Saxtons River, Vt.; five grandchildren; a sister, Cecily B. Finley of La Jolla, Calif; and a brother, Hugh, of Naples, Fla.

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