Richard B. Sewall Photo

Richard B. Sewall

Born: Feb 11, 1908

Death: Apr 16, 2003

Birthplace: Albany

Profession: Writer

Nationality: United States

Richard B. Sewall

Date of Birth : Feb 11, 1908
Date of Death : Apr 16, 2003
Birth Place : Albany

Richard B. Sewall was a professor of English at Yale University, and author of the influential works The Life of Emily Dickinson and The Vision of Tragedy. He was born in Albany, New York to a family with a long Congregational tradition: his father, Reverend Charles G. Sewall, was the thirteenth son in an unbroken chain of Congregational ministers. His mother, Kate Strong, was the daughter of Reverend Augustus Hopkins Strong, president of the Rochester Theological Seminary. Sewall attended Philips Exeter Academy, graduated from Williams College and received his Ph.D. from Yale in 1933. He taught initially at Clark University, then at Yale for 42 years, from 1934 to 1976. For much of that period he taught "English 61", a course on tragedy that became so popular it was held in Yale's largest lecture hall. He also taught, from 1941, "Daily Themes", a writing class that was a training ground for many authors, including William F. Buckley, Calvin Trillin, and Bob Woodward.


  • Writer
  • Professor
  • Author

Also known as

  • Richard Sewall
  • Richard Benson Sewall

Awards Won

  • National Book Award for Biography
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