Sometime in February 1974, former U.S. intelligence agent Donald Barr — father of William Barr — announces that he is leaving his position as headmaster at Dalton at the end of the school year. Later, date unknown, he hires Jeffrey Epstein to begin work the following September, teaching math and science.
Epstein is nothing more than a college dropout, and he’s barely out of high school. How is he qualified to teach math and science at a private school? We don’t know. As a teacher, he’s unprofessional in the classroom, often focusing on having fun rather than teaching anything. Some days he even tells students not to take the class too seriously because he’s giving them all A’s.
Professor Epstein develops a reputation for attending student parties, hanging out with female students in school hallways, and flirting with girls as young as 14 years old. In the 70s, sexual student-faculty relationships at Dalton are sometimes an open secret.
Students from the ’70s recall a boundary-pushing atmosphere at the school during a particularly sexually permissive period in American history. Student-faculty relationships were generally seen as eyebrow-raising rather than abusive.
“What’s sickening is that a creep like Epstein took that and never let go of it,” said an alumna from the class of ’74 whose name is not being used for privacy reasons…
“There were a number of teachers who looked at the student body as their next meal,” said Mark Robinson, class of ’74. Robinson, who is writing a book about his experience as one of Dalton’s few black students, recalled having wonderful educators overall.Huffington Post
In 1976, a parent of a Dalton student recommends Epstein to Alan Greenberg, the chairman of global bank and investment firm Bear Stearns. Epstein leaves the school to take a job at the firm.
Three years later, future Epstein-friend Woody Allen releases a film called Manhattan, which tells the story of a 17-year-old Dalton student in a relationship with an older man.
Back to Donald Barr
Before leading Dalton, Donald Barr had a career as an officer of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), a U.S. intelligence agency operating internationally during World War II that later evolved into the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
The agency existed from 1942 to 1945, during the same time that Robert Maxwell, father of Ghislaine Maxwell, served in the Czechoslovak Army and helped smuggle aircraft parts for Israel. Maxwell later becomes one of two primary financiers of Epstein’s sex trafficking operation. (There is no evidence to support this theory, but it’s possible that Barr and Maxwell crossed paths around this time.)
Barr went on to work as a professor at Columbia University from 1955 until 1964, the year that he became headmaster at Dalton. His time at the school was marked by a strained relationship with the board of trustees and obscure events with the students. On one memorable day, Barr ordered students to gather and watch his son play bagpipes. Some students knew William Barr worked for the CIA.
The elder Barr was also known for writing science fiction books about intergalactic sex slaves.
Barr wrote a novel filled with underage rape at the same time he was running an esteemed Manhattan high school, and he didn’t even feel the need to use a pseudonym.Vice
(1) Claims that Barr hired Epstein come from former Dalton staff. There is no concrete evidence that Barr made that decision, but no other Dalton employee has been accused of or taken credit for hiring Epstein.
(2) Reports of Epstein’s departure from Dalton vary. The story of Epstein leaving to work at Bear Stearns is plausible, but there are also claims that he was fired by Barr’s successor, Peter Branch, before being recommended to the investment firm.
(3) The student whose father referred Epstein to Bear Stearns was likely Peter Thomas Roth, now the head of a skincare and cosmetics company of the same name. Epstein tutored him while at Dalton.
Huffington Post (Archived)
New York Times 1 (Archived)
New York Times 2, Archived
New York Times 3 (Archived)
Photo: Dalton School yearbook