Dr. Forbes H. Norris, 83, the superintendent of the Montgomery County public school system from 1953 to 1957, died, of pneumonia Wednesday at his home in Winter Park, Fla.
Dr. Norris was appointed by Montgomery Country's first elected Board of Education and resigned under pressure after a series of acrimonious disputes with board members concerning administrative matters.
Several citizens groups supported Dr. Norris in the controversies, which included board action in withdrawing from classroom use a social sciences textbook that had been approved by Dr. Norris and his professional staff. Other disputes concerned the transfer by Dr. Norris of 32 black children to a previously all-white elementary school and the disciplining of high school students who had joined a fraternity against school rules.
"The board has stepped into my shoes," Dr. Norris told a news conference after his ouster had been announced. "I surely have resented it."
The educator then went on the serve as superintendent of schools in Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., a post he held until he retired in 1962 and moved to Penn Yan, N.Y.
In 1967 Dr. Norris was a visiting professor of education at the University of Miami in Florida. He later moved to Winter Park, Fla.
He was born near Fortville, Ind. He graduated from Manchester College in North Manchester, Ind., and then earned a master's degree at Harvard University. He was a teacher and school principal in Indiana for several years. He then moved to Richmond, where he was an elementary school principal before being named assistant superintendent of the school system there. He held that post for 12 years.
He earned a doctorate in education at Harvard in 1945 and then became superintendent of schools in Winchester, Mass., the post he held before moving to Montgomery County.
Dr. Norris was Rotarian and had been a district govenor of Rotary International in both Virginia and Massachusetts. He was a member of the Kenwood Country Club and he and his daughter, now Dr. Majorie M. Norris of Alexandria, won several family tennis tournaments there.
In addition to his daughter, survivors include his wife, Rita Veda, of Winter Park; a son, Dr. Forbes H. Jr., of Mill Valley, Calif., a brother, Kenneth, of Anderson, Ind.; a sister, Mrs. Fred Fair of Fortville, Ind., and three grandchildren.