Bridgman, Richard M. 1927-2005

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Bridgman, Richard M. 1927-2005

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born August 24, 1927, in Toledo, OH; died of cancer January 17, 2005, in Berkeley, CA. Literary historian, educator, and author. Bridgman was a highly regarded scholar and longtime professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Before attending college, he served in the U.S. Navy during World War II, as well as in the merchant marine. Living for a time in France, where he developed a love of literature, he returned home and briefly worked as a sports journalist for the Toledo Blade. Bridgman then decided to attend college. He enrolled at Berkeley, studying English literature and earning a B.A. in 1956, an M.A. in 1957, and a Ph.D. in 1960. For the next two years, he taught English at Dartmouth College, but he returned to Berkeley in 1962 as an assistant professor. Four years later, he earned tenure, and in 1971 he was made a full professor. Bridgman became an authority on American literature, writing influential texts on such authors as Mark Twain and Henry David Thoreau. His book Gertrude Stein in Pieces (1970) has been credited as reviving interest in Stein and placing her in perspective as a significant literary figure in expatriate France. In 1974 Bridgman gained attention for being the first American visiting professor to teach at Moscow State University while cold war tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States were still high. Retiring from Berkeley in 1989, he was awarded the university's highest honor, the Berkeley Citation. Bridgman's other books include The Colloquial Style in America (1966), Dark Thoreau (1982), and Traveling in Mark Twain (1987).



Chronicle of Higher Education, March 18, 2005, p. A41.

San Francisco Chronicle, February 14, 2005, p. B4.


University of California, Berkeley, Web site, (February, 2005).

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Bridgman, Richard M. 1927-2005

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