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Emeritus English Professor Ron Rebholz dies at 81

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Courtesy of the Department of English
Courtesy of the Department of English

Ron Rebholz, professor emeritus of English, passed away on Nov. 8 from natural causes. He was 81 years old.

Rebholz joined Stanford in 1961 as an instructor of English.

“Long after he retired, he was still doing wonderful things for us; coming back and doing freshman courses that were greatly admired,” said Stephen Orgel, professor of English and Jackson Eli Reynolds professor of Humanities.

Kenneth Fields, Ph.D. ’67, professor of English, first knew Rebholz as “one of the young [and] exciting professors” when he first came to Stanford in 1963 as a graduate student.

Later Fields and Rebholz became colleagues with a common interest in the Renaissance period.

“[Rebholz’s] great work was a biography of Fulke Greville, and he did the best edition of the poems of Sir Thomas Wyatt,” Orgel said.

Fields recalls Rebholz’s courses in Shakespeare and Renaissance poetry as being highly attended.

“He was one of the most popular teachers at Stanford,” Fields said.

Fields remembers Rebholz as a champion of leftist causes in addition to being a great scholar,.

“He was in and out of the [Faculty] Senate, [and] was open about his sexuality very early, when many people were not,” Fields said.

Fields personally recalls Rebholz as “a really smart, sweet soul who just brought happiness everywhere.”

Rebholz is survived by his partner of 30 years, Patrick Smith.

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