Baur, 87, Lawrence, died after suffering a series of heart attacks after a recent angioplasty, said his son, John Baur.
Friends called Baur, a professor emeritus of sociology at KU, an unabashed liberal, saying he stood up for the left-wing while listening to and respecting the beliefs of those he met and worked with.
"He was a very decent man," said Walter Crockett, who was one of Baur's students in the late 1940s and then one of his teaching assistants.
"He made no bones about his opinions, but he was always fair and above-board with his feelings about people."
Baur was a longtime member of the American Civil Liberties Union and a member of the Douglas County Senior Services, Crockett said. He also was a member of the Lawrence Unitarian Fellowship and had been active in the Lawrence League for the Practice of Democracy, a 1960s civil-rights organization.
"He was very sincere and courageous when it came to issues close to him," Crockett said.
Baur taught in the sociology department for 40 years, from 1947 to 1987. He earned his undergraduate and doctorate degree from the University of Chicago, and as an Army sergeant during World War II, he interviewed soldiers in Europe for a study on morale.
"He was a dedicated teacher and scholar," said Charles Warriner, who shared an office at KU with Baur for 10 years. "He was very concerned about the community. We were both political liberals and were concerned about social affairs of the world."
Baur donated his body to KU Medical Center. A memorial service is pending, his son said.
Baur's his first wife, Lilian Jacoby Baur, died in December 1971. He is survived by a son, John; a daughter, Jean, who lives in France; and his wife, Miriam Baur.
-- Staff writer Kevin Bates can be reached at 832-7187.