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Joseph Leon Edel Edit Profile

biographer , educator

Joseph Leon EDEL, American writer and teacher. Medal (U; Pulitzer Prize (biography) 1963; Award (non-fiction) 1963; Medal for Biography 1976; Award 1977; Medal (for literature) 1981; Award for Biography 1986. Council Authors’ Guild 1966-1968; William Alanson White Psychoanalytic Society, American Academy, of Psychoanalysis.


EDEL, Joseph Leon was born on September 9, 1907 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. Son of Simon Edel and Fanny Malamud.


Master of Arts, McGill University, 1928. Doctor of Letters, McGill University, 1963. D.és.L., University Paris, 1932.

Doctor of Letters, Union College, 1963. Doctor of Literature, University Saskatchewan, 1982. Doctor of Letters, Hawaii Loa College, 1988.


Writer, journalist, 1932-1943; visiting professor, New York University, 1950-1952; associate Professor of English, New York University, 1953-1954; Professor of English, New York University, 1955-1966; Henry James Professor of English and American letters, New York University, 1966-1973; emeritus, New York University, 1973; citizens professor humanities, U. Hawaii, 1971-1978; emeritus, U. Hawaii, 1978-1997. Member of faculty Harvard University, summer 1952, visiting professor, 1959-1960. Centenary visiting professor U. Toronto, 1967.

Gauss seminar lecturer Princeton University, 1952-1953. Visiting professor Indiana U., 1954-1955, U. Hawaii, summer 1955, 69-70, Purdue University, 1970. Alexander lecturer U. Toronto, 1956.

Westminster Abbey address Henry James Memorial, 1976. Visiting professor Center Advanced Study, Wesleyan University, 1965. Visiting fellow Humanities Research Center, Canberra, Australia, 1976.

Vernon professor biography Dartmouth College, 1977. Bollingen Foundation fellow, 1958-1961.


Member advising committee education Metropolitan Museum Centenary, 1969-1970. Member educational advising committee Guggenheim Foundation, 1967-1980. Served as First lieutenant Army of the United States, World World War II, 1945.

Director Press Agency 1945-1946, United States zone Germany. Fellow American Academy Arts and Sciences, Royal Society Literature (England). Member National Institute Arts and Letters (secretary 1965-1967), Washington White Psychoanalytic Society (honorary), American Academy Psychoanalysis (honorary), Society Authors (England), Authors Guild (member of council, president 1969-1971), P.E.N. (president American Center 1957-1959), Hawaii Literature Arts Council (president 1978-1979), Century Club (New York City).


  • Other Interests

    Music, book collecting, swimming.


Married 1st Bertha Cohen in 1935 (divorced in 1950), married 2nd Roberta Roberts in 1950 (divorced in 1979). Married 3rd Marjorie P. Sinclair in 1980.

Simon Edel

Fannie (Malamud) Edel

Roberta Roberts

Marjorie P. Sinclair