Calvin “Cal” Ledbetter Jr., a beloved professor emeritus of political science and former dean of the UALR College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, died unexpectedly on Saturday, Aug. 10 2013.
Not only did Ledbetter, 84, lead a long and distinguished academic career at UALR, he also enjoyed a successful political career, serving five consecutive terms in the Arkansas House of Representatives from 1967 to 1977.
Ledbetter first joined the UALR faculty in 1960. During his chairmanship of the political science department from 1961 to 1978, the faculty grew from two to 13, and an associate degree in law enforcement was created. Ledbetter was chosen to lead UALR’s College of Liberal Arts as dean in 1978, a position he held for 10 years.
Upon his retirement from UALR in 1997, he was distinguished as a professor emeritus. Ledbetter endowed non-traditional scholarships and a monograph press at UALR and was a major supporter of KLRE/KUAR, two public radio stations housed at the university.
Ledbetter enrolled in Princeton University following high school and graduated from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. He received his juris doctorate from UALR’s William H. Bowen School of Law. After briefly practicing law in Little Rock, he joined the U.S. Army as a member of the Judge Advocate General Corps and served in Germany for three years. After completing his military service, Ledbetter earned a Ph.D. in political science from Northwestern University, where he taught as a graduate student.
He was the son of Calvin R. Ledbetter and Virginia Campbell Ledbetter and is survived by his son Grainger Ledbetter (Sherry Curry), his daughter Snow Ledbetter Moen (Chris) and five grandchildren—Campbell, Mary and Jeff Curry-Ledbetter, and Lily and Gwyneth Moen. He is preceded in death by his son, Jeffery Calvin Ledbetter and his wife of 55 years, Brownie Williams Ledbetter.