By Kylie Jue
On September 12, Edwin “Ted” Good M.A. ’74, professor emeritus of religious studies, died in Eugene, Oregon. Good was 86 years old.
Good was best known for his work on the Hebrew Bible, which he saw as a collection of ancient stories. He published literary commentary and several translations of the Bible, studied its origins in oral tradition and explored the stories’ connections with one another. Good also authored several books about the Hebrew Bible, including one that will be released on 2015.
Born in Bibia, French Cameroon on April 23, 1928, Good moved to the United States at the age of five with his parents, who were American Presbyterian missionaries working in West Africa. Good attended several different institutions and received four different degrees in religion and music, including a master’s in music from Stanford.
As a Stanford student, Good studied under William Mahrt Ph.D. ’69, current director of Stanford’s Early Music Singers and associate professor of music in the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies. During his time at the University, Good developed his passion for playing the piano and went on to publish “Giraffes, Black Dragons and Other Pianos,” a well-recognized book on the history of the piano.
In 1956, Good joined Stanford’s Religious Studies Department as a faculty member and chaired the department from 1986 to 1989. He also held a Department of Classics courtesy appointment from 1970 to 1991 when he retired from the University.
After his retirement, Good worked at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. on a transcription of the German diaries of one of the Steinway brothers, the men who were responsible for bringing the famous piano company to the U.S.
Good spent the last 14 years of his life in Eugene, Oregon, and is survived by his wife, poet Anita Sullivan; his three sons; his first wife Janice S. Good; and three grandchildren. A memorial service was held in his honor on October 18.