The father of NBA champion Steve Kerr, he was a well known expert on the Middle East. His scholarly works include The Elusive Peace in the Middle East (1975) and The Arab Cold War: Gamel Abd al-Nasr and his Rivals, 1958-1970 (1965).
He was a student of international relations and Middle Eastern studies at Princeton, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins. He later taught at the University of California-Los Angeles.
He was gunned down feet from his office by an unknown attacker.
He had two children. His son, Steve Kerr, became a well-known basketball player, and his daughter, Susan, published a memoir detailing the aftermath of her father's tragic death.
His son played on the champion NBA team, the Chicago Bulls, with Michael Jordan.