Two Professors Featured in Warren Campaign Video About Native American Ancestry Are Donors

Sen. Elizabeth Warren
Sen. Elizabeth Warren / Getty Images
October 15, 2018

Two of the professors featured in Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D., Mass.) new campaign video about her Native American ancestry have also donated to the Massachusetts senator.

University of Texas-Austin Law School professor Jay Westbrook and Harvard Law School Professor Charles Fried both gave testimonials to Warren in the video and have donated $6,111 and $250 to her, respectively. Fried served as solicitor general under Republican President Ronald Reagan.

Warren released a video on Monday delving into her longtime claims of Native American ancestry and whether it had an effect on her hiring as a law professor at various schools in the 1980s and 1990s. A DNA test's analysis showed "strong evidence" she had a Native American ancestor around six to 10 generations back, which could make her as little as 1/1,024th Native American.

Warren, who recently said she would take a "hard look" at running for the White House in 2020, said in the video her background had no role in her hiring as a law professor at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard.

"Her heritage had no bearing on her hiring, period," Westbrook said of Warren's tenure at the University of Texas.

"She is a tremendous teacher, an important scholar," Fried said.

Warren changed her ethnicity from white to Native American while at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard, The Boston Globe reports:

During her academic career as a law professor, she had her ethnicity changed from white to Native American at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she taught from 1987 to 1995, and at Harvard University Law School, where she was a tenured faculty member starting in 1995. (She was a visiting professor at Harvard during the 1992-1993 academic year.)

National Review noted Warren was considered a "minority hire" at Harvard at the time, and she was even described at the time as the first "woman of color" hired at the law school.

Warren has long told the story of her parents eloping in spite of her father's family disapproving of her mother's Cherokee Indian heritage. Warren's video Monday featured several clips of President Donald Trump mocking the senator's claims and calling her "Pocahontas."

Fact-checkers could never independently verify her claims because they were based on family lore.

Published under: Elizabeth Warren