Alan Canfora, Wounded on May 4, 1970, Dies at Age 71

Alan Canfora, one of nine Kent State University students wounded when Ohio National Guard soldiers opened fire on May 4, 1970, has died. He was 71.

Alan Canfora

Canfora's sister, Roseann "Chic" Canfora, shared the news Dec. 27 on Facebook.

"It is with immense sadness that I share news of the passing of my beloved brother, Alan Canfora--a devastating loss to our family, friends and the Kent State/May 4 community," Chic Canfora wrote. "Our hearts are broken at the loss of a spirit so irreplaceable to us and to the world. The burden of our grief will be lightened in the days to come by the thousands of voices Alan inspired, the causes he championed and the lives he changed. Give us strength and give us time."

President Todd Diacon said Canfora’s legacy will never fade at Kent State, just as Canfora never allowed those killed and injured on May 4, 1970, to be forgotten.

“As the President of Kent State University, I join with many others as we mourn the death of Alan Canfora, an individual so linked to our institution," Diacon said. "Alan was tireless and fearless in his search for the truth of what really happened on May 4, 1970. He made a difference, and he will be missed."

Our Kent State family extends its heartfelt sympathy to Alan’s wife and children, mother, sister and entire family at this difficult time.

Canfora served as director of the Akron Law Library and was active in politics in his hometown of Barberton, Ohio, serving for 27 years as chairman of the Democratic Party. He also worked for the Summit County Board of Elections and Barberton Municipal Court. 

His largest role was always as a May 4 activist, and he often spoke with students and others about the shootings. Canfora becomes the third of the nine wounded students to pass away. Four students -- Allison Krause, Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder -- were killed during the shooting. 

When he was shot in the wrist that day, Canfora was an active participant in the anti-war protest. As a 21-year-old junior, he can be seen in photos waving a black flag at the rally. He chose black because just a week earlier, he had attended the funeral of a childhood friend killed in Vietnam.

Canfora and the other wounded students were featured earlier this year in the spring 2020 edition of Kent State Magazine

POSTED: Sunday, December 27, 2020 05:19 PM
Updated: Monday, June 12, 2023 10:09 AM