Remembering Atheist Activist Conrad Goeringer

Some sad news from American Atheists: Conrad Goeringer died Saturday night at the age of 63. He was an activist who worked for atheist causes for decades, most notably with Madalyn Murray O’Hair during the formative years of the AA organization:

David Silverman, President of American Atheists said, “Those who have been with American Atheists for a few years will remember Conrad’s booming voice and welcoming smile when he emceed the national convention. He was a friend to many, and an invaluable resource to those lucky enough to work with him. He will be missed, and indeed he already is.”

Frank Zindler, Former [AA] President and long-time friend said, “Conrad bid fair to be the most “faithful of the faithless” whom Madalyn Murray O’Hair drew into her inner circle of Atheist activists and came to treat as though he were another son. Conrad devoted his life unreservedly to the advancement of Atheism in general and to the rescue of American Atheists in particular after the murder of the Murray-O’Hair family. The debt we owe to “Comrade Conrad” is far too great to tally.”

I wish I could add more to this post, but I only had the chance to meet him a couple of times and never really had a chance to talk to him beyond some pleasantries. Still, I was on a very active email list with him, and when I was looking back through the emails he had sent over the years, you can see how he was often the first to alert the leaders of various atheist organizations about news stories they may want to take action on. He was also a frequent contributor to American Atheist Magazine and The Humanist.

He dedicated his life to this cause and he’s left us with a strong foundation for the future.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Joe Zamecki

    Conrad was one of my closest friends in the movement. Few people have worked harder for any movement than he did. He was a powerful force for research and possibly the best academic authority our movement has ever had. 

    Among other good hard work, he did the voice-over announcements all during the Godless Americans March on Washington DC in 2002. That’s still on Youtube, so you can go there and hear his voice again and again. 

    Despite being a private type of activist, his articles appeared in American Atheist Magazine and were some of the most in-depth articles featured.  He also spoke at most of AA’s national conventions and Regional Atheist Meets. Attending and listening to his speeches was a very educational experience. 

    Personally speaking, when I moved my life up to New Jersey in 1999 to work at AA’s new center, it was a struggle for me to settle in there. New Jersey is quite different from Texas. Conrad provided a lot of friendly help for me, and helped me help AA accomplish a lot. Sometimes when I was broke and all alone up there, Conrad came through and helped me greatly. He was a good friend to the activist, for sure.

    In a movement filled with a lot of  ”good guys,” Conrad was one of the best. I shall raise a cold beer to him tonight. 

    Joe Zamecki
    Austin

  • Pluto Animus

    Goeringer was the memorable announcing voice at the Godless Americans March on Washington.  He deep, clear voice had an ironic “voice of god” quality to it.

    We honor his service to our movement.