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Theobald, John R. (1903-1989) | Special Collections & University Archives

Name: Theobald, John R. (1903-1989)

Historical Note:

John R. Theobald was born September 5, 1903 in India where his parents were doing missionary work.  He was sent to England at age 6 for schooling.  He later attended Oxford University, graduating in 1925 with honors in English.  He was also the recipient of the England Fellowship to Union Seminary in New York where he received a degree in theology in 1929.  Dr. Theobald earned his doctorate in 1943 at the University of Iowa.  He taught at Queens University in Canada, Amherst, Trinity College, Grinnell College, and San Diego State University.  He also worked as a research associate in the Division of War Research at the University of California, San Diego.

Dr. Theobald came to San Diego State University in 1946 as an associate professor in the English department.  He later became a full professor and retired in 1969 as professor emeritus.  While at San Diego State University, Dr. Theobald gave numerous recitals and addresses on National Public Radio.  He wrote a series of radio talks called The Nine Ultimate Questions that covered subjects from man to God and beauty and peace.  He also did a fourteen part series on poetry and poets called The Spoken Word.

Dr. Theobald was also a respected author.  His works include: The Earthquake and Other Poems, An Oxford Odyssey, A Second Light, Planetsong, and Introducing Poetry.  His translations of French poetry were published in Midi-Noon, A Work by Leconte De Lisle, The Lost Wine: Seven Centuries of Lyric French Poetry Into English Lyrical Poetry.

Dr. Theobald died in December of 1989.


Reader, 11/27, 7/8/1982

San Diego Union, 12/23/89

Note Author: Jennifer Hollander

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