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Alan Canfora speaking at Kent State University in May 2009

Alan Michael Canfora (August 21, 1949 – January 16, 2020) was a student at Kent State University, Ohio, when he was shot and wounded in the right wrist by Ohio National Guardsmen in the Kent State shootings on May 4, 1970 while protesting the invasion of Cambodia.

It is estimated that Canfora was 225 feet away from the Guardsman who shot him with a military issue M1 Garand. Canfora suffered a through and through gunshot wound with entry and exit wounds.

Four students (Allison Krause, William Schroeder, Sandra Scheuer and Jeffrey Miller) were killed in the shootings which led to protests on college campuses throughout the United States, causing hundreds of campuses to close because of both violent and non-violent demonstrations. The Kent State campus remained closed for six weeks. Just five days after the shootings, 100,000 people demonstrated in Washington, D.C. against the war. Ten days after the shootings, two more people were shot and killed on the campus of Jackson State University in Mississippi. The police were brought onto the Jackson State campus because authorities feared that protests over the Kent State shootings could turn into riots.

Canfora was one of nine students injured in the shootings at Kent State that day. The others were Dean Kahler, Scott Mackenzie, Robbie Stamps, Doug Wrentmore, John Cleary, Joe Lewis, Jim Russell and Tom Grace. Their injuries ranged from minor flesh wounds to spinal cord injury resulting in permanent paralysis. Of these, Canfora has been the most outspoken about the Kent State shootings and the United States government's role in the event and in what he calls the cover-up of the incident in the decades since. He has been involved in public speaking and maintains a website on which he has published excerpts of his forthcoming book on the events at Kent State from 1967 to 1970.

Alan Canfora currently resides in his hometown, Barberton, Ohio, where he is an election official. He is still very active in politics and is the chair of the Barberton Democratic Party, a post he has held since 1992. Alan Canfora is also the Director of the Kent May 4 Center, a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational charity, since 1989.


  • Michener, James. A. (1971). Kent State: What Happened and Why. Random House. ISBN 0-394-47199-7.


  • Kent State: The Day the War Came Home (2000). Directed by Chris Triffo.

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