The Margaret Sanger Papers


Kerr, Robert Bird (1867-1951)

Scottish attorney. Educated at Edinburgh University, Kerr became a socialist and joined the Fabian Society; he also became interested in the ideas of Malthusian George Drysdale on the importance of family limitation. After completing his education, Kerr practiced law in the United States and then Canada. During these years he maintained contact with the British Malthusian League and supported the efforts of Margaret Sanger in the United States. After retiring in 1922, he returned to England and became secretary of the Malthusian League, though he did not support the League's conservative economic doctrines. In 1923, Kerr became editor of the League's monthly journal, The Malthusian (which had been renamed New Generation in 1922). In 1927, Kerr tried to formally distance the New Generation from any association with the by then defunct Malthusian League. Kerr probably met Sanger for the first time in London in 1922 and he went on to regularly published articles by and about Sanger and her work. During World War II Sanger helped raise funds to keep The New Generation afloat.
References: Audrey Ledbetter, A History of the Malthusian League, 1877-1927 (1976).