Skip navigation

Diane D. Blair Papers (MC 1632)


Table of Contents

About Diane Blair

Diane Blair, 1993. Photo by D. House, University of Arkansas.Diane Divers Blair was born in Washington D.C. on October 25, 1938 to William Keeveny Divers and Minna Rosenbaum Divers. She graduated from Woodrow Wilson High school and attended the University of Miami, Ohio, and received a B.A. in Political Science from Cornell University in 1959, graduating cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Upon graduating, she returned to Washington D.C. and held several positions from 1959 through 1963, including being an analyst on the President’s Committee on Government Contracts, a research assistant on the Senate Special Committee on Unemployment, and a legislative secretary and speech writer for Senator Stuart Symington of Missouri.

In 1963 she married Hugh Kincaid and moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas, where Kincaid was an attorney. The couple had two children, William and Kathryn. Diane Kincaid entered the M.A. program at the University of Arkansas in the Political Science Department and graduated in 1967. In 1968, she joined the political science faculty at the University of Arkansas. She was voted Outstanding Faculty Member by students in 1976 and 1978. While at the University of Arkansas, Diane Kincaid befriended Bill and Hillary Clinton during their tenure at the University of Arkansas School of Law.

Diane and Hugh Kincaid divorced, and she married attorney James Blair of Fayetteville, Arkansas, in 1979. The ceremony was performed by then-Governor Bill Clinton. The same year, Blair was promoted to assistant professor at the University of Arkansas.

From 1969 to 1997, Diane Blair taught political science courses and was active in various civic organizations. She published two books: an edited diary of America’s first elected female senator, Hattie Caraway, Silent Hattie Speaks: The Personal Journal of Senator Hattie Caraway (1979) and Arkansas Politics and Government: Do the People Rule? (1988). In 1982 she was recognized for her teaching and research achievements with the Fulbright College’s Master Teacher Award. She was a delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1972, headed Governor Dale Bumper’s Commission on the Status of Women in 1971, chaired Governor David Pryor’s Commission on Public Employee Rights in 1976, debated the Equal Rights Amendment with Phyllis Schlafly in the Arkansas General Assembly on Valentine’s Day in 1975, and was appointed by Governor Bill Clinton to the Arkansas Educational Television Network Commission in 1980.

In 1992 Blair joined Bill Clinton’s Presidential Campaign as a senior researcher, and she served as a senior advisor in the 1996 campaign. Blair was appointed to the board of directors of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 1993 and 1997, which she served as chairwoman during 1996-2000.

Blair received recognition from various organizations for achievements in her professional life as well as community service especially with the Single Parent Scholarship Fund. She retired from the University of Arkansas in 1997, but continued to be involved with the University. In May 2000, after being diagnosed earlier that year with lung cancer, Blair was awarded the honorary Doctor of Laws degree and spoke at the University Commencement. Diane Blair succumbed to her illness on June 26, 2000.

About the collection

The Diane D. Blair Papers were donated to the University of Arkansas Special Collections Department by James B. Blair on May 5, 2005.


All materials in Series VI are restricted and not available for research use.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard federal copyright laws apply (U.S. Title 17).

Processed by

Processed by Krista Jones, Kerry King Jones, Clark Donat, and David Prater; completed in February 2010.


113.5 linear feet (109 boxes)

Series 1

Valid HTML 5

Last updated: May 22, 2013