About the Author


Head Shot of Paul Lombardo

Paul A. Lombardo

Paul A.  Lombardo is best known for his work on the history of the American eugenics movement. He was the last person to interview Carrie Buck, the petitioner in Buck v. Bell, a 1927 United States Supreme Court case that upheld state laws mandating eugenic sterilization of the so-called “feebleminded and socially inadequate.”  Buck and her family were condemned in an infamous Court opinion written by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, declaring: “Three generations of imbeciles are enough.” Lombardo’s book Three Generations, No Imbeciles: Eugenics, the Supreme Court and Buck v. Bell tells the story of Buck’s case. 

Lombardo’s work on Buck has been cited in every major newspaper in the country, and he has been instrumental in the movement to solicit apologies and legislative denunciations of past state eugenic laws, successful so far in seven states. In 2002, he sponsored an historical marker in Carrie Buck’s hometown of Charlottesville, Virginia, correcting the historical record in Buck v. Bell. The movement for state governmental repudiation of past eugenic policies that began in Virginia has been repeated in six other states: Oregon, North and South Carolina, California, Georgia and Indiana. Lombardo initiated the process for placing a second historical marker on eugenic history, erected in 2007 to mark the Centennial of Indiana's first-in-the-world 1907 eugenical sterilization law. He is currently editing a volume of essays tentatively entitled The Many Faces of Eugenics: From the "Indiana Experiment" to the Human Genome,  written to commemorate the Indiana event.

Professor Lombardo was trained as both an historian and as a lawyer. From 1990 until 2006 he served on the faculty of the Schools of Law and Medicine at the University of Virginia, He received his A.B. from Rockhurst College (Kansas City, Mo.), his M.A. from Loyola University of Chicago and both his Ph.D. and J.D. from the University of Virginia. He is currently a Professor of Law at the Georgia State University College of Law.