Richard P. Claude, a professor emeritus at the University of Maryland who taught political science and constitutional law from 1965 until he retired in 1993, died March 17 at the Georgetown, a retirement residence in Washington. He was 76 and had pancreatic cancer.

Dr. Claude had been an advocate for human rights since the 1950s, when he participated in sit-ins for civil rights.

In 1982, he was the founding editor of Human Rights Quarterly and in 1986 co-founded Physicians for Human Rights, a group that works to investigate human rights abuses and provide care for victims. He taught a course on science and human rights as a visiting scholar at Princeton University in 1996.

He also wrote widely about human rights, including a human rights education manual for use by nongovernmental organizations in developing countries. His 2002 book “Science in the Service of Human Rights” earned him an award from the American Political Science Association.

Richard Pierre Claude, a native of St. Paul, Minn., was a 1956 graduate of the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul. He received a master’s degree in history from Florida State University in 1960 and a doctorate in political science and constitutional law from the University of Virginia in 1964.

He served as an air traffic controller in the Air Force from 1956 to 1959 and retired from the Air Force Reserve in 1970 as a captain. He had lived in Washington since 1965.

Dr. Claude was a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Citizens Association of Georgetown.

His marriage to Colette Germann Claude ended in divorce.

Survivors include three children from his marriage, Eric Claude of Vienna, Christina Claude-Paras of Santa Fe, N.M., and Gregor Claude of London; two brothers; a sister; and six grandchildren.

— Lauren Wiseman