Barr grew up on New York`s Upper West Side. As a child, he attended a Catholic high school, Corpus Christi School, and then the non-denominational Horace Mann School. After high school, he attended Columbia University, where he studied government and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1971. Barr was also an active member of the Sigma Nu Brotherhood. He completed two more years of graduate studies at Columbia University and earned a Master of Arts in Government and Chinese Studies in 1973. While at Columbia University, Barr resisted student protests on campus against the Vietnam War.  William Barr was still in high school when problems swirled around his father. Although Barr Sr. had supporters on Dalton`s board, it was obvious that the manager and his opponents had begun to take a stand. And then it started to get ugly. Barr was an innovator. “He believed that the best teachers did not come from teachers` colleges and thought that the education building in Colombia should be destroyed,” Semel recalls.
Another former student remarked, “I once told him I wanted to learn Japanese. The following week, there was a Japanese teacher. The school used to offer 14 languages. And while he has been a disciplinarian, he has generally welcomed a variety of perspectives. “My father was strong enough to promote opposing views,” William Barr later confided to a colleague, “as long as they were expressed peacefully and did not interfere with others.” In November, Friedan and his friends went to the Vietnam War moratorium and slept on church floors. When they returned, Barr was unusually calm. Their applications for admission to the university were sent by mail. Friedan and Slon had assumed that as A students with higher SATs, they would have a choice between Ivy League schools.
His parents had the same impression. But how naïve could they have been? It was a time in America when colleges, concerned about campus riots, were carefully considering applications from potential agitators. In addition, Betty Friedan was a vocal member of a group of Dalton parents who tried to fire Barr. In June 2019, Barr, in violation of Justice Department policy, pressured Berman, then U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, to drop an investigation into close allies of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan linked to Turkey`s Halkbank.  The bank and the individuals in question were reportedly replaced by U.S. Berman by his assistant, Audrey Strauss.  In November 2019, the Wall Street Journal reported that Trump`s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, was involved in an SDNY investigation into several possible crimes.  But as you approached the fifth floor, where Attorney General William Pelham Barr works from a number of offices, things began to relax.
One assistant outside his conference room was wearing a mask, the other was not. In the middle of the room, with its oil paintings and vaulted ceiling, the long central table had fewer chairs than expected, and a reasonable distance between them. But behind the next door, in the attorney general`s smallest personal office, Barr himself was also without a mask. He turned to greet his visitors and settled in the middle of a wide circle of four chairs arranged in front of his desk. Barr announced his resignation as part of a deal; The Dalton Yearbook, which played well, had this to say: “All Dalton owes Donald Barr a great debt. We are all very sad about his departure. Barr found a new job as principal of Hackley, a more conservative private school in Westchester County. In an interview with The New York Times, he said: “The kids here are. Better and less. It`s a relief, Barr pointed out, to be freed from the “display of ego and radical chic of Manhattan`s private schoolchildren.” In a short period of time, the principal managed to double Dalton`s enrollment and make it one of the city`s most desirable schools, according to the Times, by renaming an institution that had lost its appeal despite its stellar history.
For his teachers, Barr brought photographers, Belarusian aristocrats, anti-Castro Cuban greats and a group of gifted dropouts, including a certain Jeffrey Epstein.