klein-bRobert Klein (Ghana 1961–63; 1974–75), recent winner of Peace Corps Writers Advancing the Mission Award for his book Being First, an informal history of early Peace Corps/Ghana, and founder of the RPCV Oral History Archival Project, passed away yesterday, April 4, 2012, at the age of 83, after complications arising from the implantation of a pacemaker.

being-firstKlein was a tireless supporter of the agency and RPCVs across the country, and dedicated to having RPCVs tell their individual stories. He taught in Ghana for two years, a member of the first Peace Corps group to go overseas. He then joined the Peace Corps program staff, serving in Kenya and in Ghana, where he was the country director from 1966 to 1968. Returning to the U.S., Klein had a career as a journeyman educator working in New Frontier and other experimental settings in the areas of remedial education and English as a second language. In 1974 he returned to Ghana, with his family, to serve another term as a Peace Corps Volunteer.

Through the years he has remained close friends with his Ghanaian students whom he first taught in 1961, and has made periodic visits back to the school and community. He lived in Madison, Wisconsin and at the age of 81 began to work with the National Archives at the John F. Kennedy Library, conducting oral history interviews with former Volunteers.

He will be missed for his personality, and for his work for all of us who believe in the Peace Corps and the work of RPCVs.

To know more about everything that Bob did, read Hugh Pickens column on our site about Klein’s life and work with his Oral History project at: