Bachelor cum laude, Birmingham-Southern College, 1950. Master of Arts (American Council Learned Societies fellow), Harvard University, 1950. Doctor of Philosophy, Vanderbilt University, 1954.
Fulbright scholar, University College, University London, 1955.
Instructor English, Vanderbilt University, 1953-1954; instructor English, U. Rochester, New York, 1955-1958; assistant professor, U. Rochester, 1958-1961; associate professor, U. Rochester, 1961-1965; Professor of English, U. Rochester, 1965-1997; university orator, U. Rochester, 1989-1996; professor emeritus, U. Rochester, 1998. Consultant various publications.
Board of directors Opera Theatre of Rochester. Member Friends of Eastman Opera Theater. Served with United States Navy, 1945-1946.
Member Modern Language Association, English Institute, American Society for 18th Century Studies, North Eastern American Association for 18th Century Studies (vice president 1979, president 1980-1981), Landmark Society Western New York, Friends University Libraries (president 1991-1994), Alpha Tau Omega.
Married Nan Heffelfinger, October 5, 1957. Children— Miranda, Reed.