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Recordpub.com

Victim of KSU May 4 shootings dies
Robby Stamps was hit in hip during 1970 incident

Friday, June 13, 2008

Robert "Robby" Stamps, one of nine students wounded during the May 4, 1970 shootings at Kent State University, died in Tallahassee, Fla. Wednesday night, according to a fellow survivor.

Alan Canfora, also wounded that day, said Stamps, 57, was suffering from the effects of Lyme disease and had come down with pneumonia.


"I just spoke with him last month, in May," Canfora said Thursday night. "He sounded like he felt stronger than in the last year or two."
Canfora said Stamps always suspected he was bitten by a deer tick at Mohican State Forest in Ohio during a retreat for the May 4 Task Force, which he and Canfora helped found in 1975.


Taken to Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna following the shootings, Canfora said the first time he met Stamps was when the two shared a hospital room " Canfora sitting with a gunshot wound to his wrist and Stamps laying facedown with a hip wound.
Canfora said the last time Stamps attended May 4 events was at the invitation of KSU President Emeritus Carol Cartwright in 2000. He said Stamps was "talking about coming up and visiting Ohio" as late as last month.


Stamps graduated magna cum laude from KSU in 1972, later earning master's degrees in both sociology and journalism. However, he had trouble finding a job, and told the Record-Courier it was because of the notoriety he earned because of the events of May 4.
Stamps sued Cuyahoga Community College in February 1978, alleging the school gave him a verbal agreement for a counseling job, but later withdrew it because of his role in the shootings.


In an April 1980 interview with the Record-Courier from his new home in San Diego, he said he loved Northeastern Ohio but had to leave because he couldn't find a job. At the time, he was working as a counselor for a law firm specializing in immigrant affairs.
"Everyone thought I was going to organize the employees. There is still a lot of resentment toward me and the others (former wounded) in Ohio. Nobody knows who I am out here. It's really nice," he said at the time.


A Cleveland native, Stamps also was a published author and writer and ran a Web site called AuthorsWanted.com, which offered help to "aspiring and established authors with every aspect of the writing and publishing process." He also was a musician and wrote a song called "If Only You Were Mine."


"The first time I ever talked to Robby, he was very concerned about the other students" who were shot, Canfora said. "He was a beautiful guy."
Stamps is survived by his wife, Teresa Sumrall, Canfora said.