The University of Texas at Austin   School of Law

The Papers of George Lister: "Mr Human Rights"

  The Papers of George Lister

"To Our Hopeless Cause!"


Image of George Lister

George Lister, once called "Mr. Human Rights" by historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. served as a diplomat at the U.S. Department of State for more than 60 years, from 1941 to 2003.

"To our hopeless cause!" was Lister's spirited and humorous way of punctuating a conversation on human rights——the cause to which he dedicated his life.

This web site features selections from his archives and from videotaped interviews with friends and colleagues conducted in 2006. It was developed by The Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice at The University of Texas School of Law. We have identified eight areas or themes that are illuminated by these papers——from George Lister's diplomatic style to his human rights legacy.

Lister's complete papers are housed at the Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection at The University of Texas at Austin. We are extremely grateful to the many people and institutions who supported this project.