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Carr, Rosamond Halsey 1912-2006

Carr, Rosamond Halsey 1912-2006


See index for CA sketch: Born August 28, 1912, in South Orange, NJ; died September 29, 2006, in Gisenyi, Rwanda. Nursery grower and philanthropist. Carr was an expatriate living in Rwanda when she opened an orphanage in 1994 to protect the children of slaughtered Tutsis and Hutus during the period of racial genocide there. As the daughter of a prosperous bond trader, Carr lived a life of private schools and privilege until the Great Depression came in 1929. She nevertheless managed to attend the Traphagen School of Fashion in New York City to become a fashion illustrator. After marrying British game hunter and explorer Kenneth Carr, the couple moved to Rwanda. Initially nervous at the prospect of living in fairly primitive conditions, Carr soon grew to love the African country. Although she divorced in 1956, she stayed in Rwanda and bought a flower plantation she called Mugongo. Here she met conservationist Dian Fossey, who worked to save gorillas from poachers. The two developed a close friendship until Fossey was murdered for her conservation efforts in 1985. Carr was still operating the plantation in 1994 when the assassination of the Rwandan president ignited racial hostilities. The resulting genocide would lead to the murders of over one million people, mostly ethnic Tutsis. Evacuated back to the United States, Carr stayed away only four months. Upon her return, she opened an orphanage called Imbabazi on her old plantation. She had to relocate it near Gisenyi in 1998 when violence erupted anew, but was able to return to Mugongo shortly after. With the help of her niece Ann Halsey Howard, Carr wrote about her remarkable life in Land of a Thousand Hills: My Fifty Years in Rwanda (1999).



Carr, Rosamund Halsey, and Ann Halsey Howard, Land of a Thousand Hills: My Fifty Years in Rwanda, Viking (New York, NY), 1999.


Los Angeles Times, September 29, 2006, p. B14.

New York Times, October 8, 2006, p. A27.

Times (London, England), November 18, 2006, p. 80.

Washington Post, October 4, 2006, p. B7.

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