April 21, 1983
Scholar and linguist Ben Drew Kimpel died at his home in Fayetteville (Washington County). Kimpel wrote the definitive biography of the eighteenth-century novelist Samuel Richardson with University of Arkansas (UA) colleague Duncan Eaves. He taught a wide variety of courses at UA, from Anglo-Saxon and Beowulf to contemporary novel. Although many students at first found his vast knowledge intimidating, many came to regard him as a wise and sympathetic counselor who would help with an array of problems, not all academic. He enjoyed and often hosted graduate student parties and always loved dancing (he was well known for the Charleston and jitterbug) in spite of his great weight, which at times approached 300 pounds.