Skip to main content

Rafferty, Max



  • Existence: 1917-1982


Maxwell Lewis Rafferty was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, on May 9, 1917. He spent most of his childhood in Sioux City, Iowa, before his family moved to California in 1931. He graduated from Beverly Hills High School in 1933. Rafferty earned his B.A. (1938), M.A. (1949), and Ph.D. (1955) from the University of California Los Angeles. Rafferty was a career educator. His first job was as a teacher in the Trona Unified School District in California; he then went on to jobs as vice-principal, principal, and school superintendent in various California schools. In 1963 he was elected to the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction of the State of California. He held this office for two terms, from 1963 to 1971, at which time he became the Dean of Education at Troy State University. His educational philosophy was one of back to basics, and he bragged that he killed progressive education in California.   Rafferty was the author of a number of books on educational philosophy, including What They Are Doing to Your Children and Classroom Countdown. His newspaper column, Dr. Max Rafferty Column, was syndicated nationally. Max Rafferty was the Republican candidate for Senate in 1968, but was defeated by incumbent state controller Alan Cranston. Rafferty died in a drowning accident in 1982 at the age of sixty-five.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

Max Rafferty Papers

Identifier: MsC0214

Educator, author, and columnist. Speeches, newspaper columns, and articles about education. Also includes sound recordings, video tapes, and filmstrips.

Dates: 1933-1982; Majority of material found within 1960-1979