Published: July 23, 2018

Earl SampsonOur former colleague, Professor of Russian Earl Sampson, passed away on July 1, 2018. He was 83 years old.  A native Coloradan, he entered CU to study engineering. When drafted into the Army, he was sent to the Monterey Army Language School (now called the Defense Language Institute), where he discovered a passion for Russian and decided to radically change his career plans. He was accepted to the graduate program at the Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures in Harvard University and defended his Ph.D. in 1958. Among his mentors were great Russian scholars, Roman Jakobson and Vsevolod Setchkarev. Earl published one of the first English-language books on the Russian modernist poet Nikolai Gumilev. He also translated into English Pushkin’s History of Pugachev’s Rebellion.  He worked at our department from 1963 to 1994 and was loved by students and colleagues. After his retirement, he lived in Boulder. In recent years, he frequently attended events organized by the Russian program and was always excited to learn about new Russian films and books. We will miss his enthusiasm and sincere love for Russian culture.