Ken Starr, the former independent counsel in the Clinton administration Whitewater investigation who later became president and chancellor of Baylor University, died Sept. 13 at age 76.
Starr, former U.S. Solicitor General and a U.S. circuit court judge, died at Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center in Houston due to complications from surgery, a statement from his family said.
Starr was elected president of Baylor University in February 2010, and he concurrently held the title of university chancellor beginning in November 2013.
Baylor’s board of regents removed Starr as president in May 2016, citing the university’s “fundamental failure” to handle sexual violence complaints appropriately under his leadership. He soon resigned as chancellor and later stepped down as a professor at the Baylor Law School.
However, for six years, Starr oversaw significant expansion at Baylor, including construction of McLane Stadium, the Hart Track and Field Stadium, the Paul Foster Campus for Business and Innovation and Elliston Chapel, along with renovation of three residence halls.
He also led in fundraising for the university, beginning with his first major project — completing ahead of schedule the $100 million President’s Scholarship Initiative.
During Starr’s time as president, Baylor also took significant steps toward becoming a top-tier research university, expanding the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative and establishing the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences.
Baylor President Linda Livingstone expressed condolences on behalf of the university and the Baylor Family to Alice Starr and the rest of Starr’s family. “May God’s peace and comfort surround them and give them strength now, and in the days to come,” she said.
Law and politics
Kenneth Winston Starr was born July 21, 1946, to William D. and Vannie Trimble Starr, and he grew up in San Antonio.
He earned his undergraduate degree from George Washington University, a master’s degree in political science from Brown University, and his Juris Doctor degree from Duke University.
Starr argued 36 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including 25 as U.S. Solicitor General from 1989 to 1993. He was U.S. Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1983 to 1989.
From 1989 to 1993, he was the independent counsel who led an investigation into the Whitewater real estate investments of President Bill Clinton. The inquiry expanded into other areas, including suspected perjury by Clinton regarding his relationship with Monica Lewinsky. The allegation in the Starr Report that Clinton lied in a sworn deposition led to Clinton’s impeachment.
After Starr left Baylor University, he worked with the Lanier Law Firm and was a commentator for Fox News.
Starr is survived by his wife of 52 years, Alice, three grown children and nine grandchildren.