Russell P. Sebold, who taught Spanish at Penn from 1968 until his retirement in 1998, passed away April 7, in West Chester, following complications from a stroke. He was 86 years old. At the time of his retirement, Dr. Sebold was Edwin R. Williams Professor in the department of Romance languages.
Dr. Sebold was an internationally recognized scholar in the areas of 18th and 19th century Hispanic studies. After receiving his PhD at Princeton, he taught at Duke, Wisconsin and Maryland before coming to Penn. At Penn he chaired the department of Romance languages and was general editor of the Hispanic Review. Author of 39 books of literary criticism and more than 100 scholarly articles, he was a corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Spain, the Real Acadèmia de Bones Lletres of Catalonia and the Hispanic Society of America.
He received a doctorate honoris causa from the University of Alicante and the International Nebrija Prize for Criticism and History from the Universidad de Salamanca. The Cervantes Virtual Library recognizes him as one of the most influential Hispanists in history and as the most prominent scholar on studies of the 18th century of Spain.
Dr. Sebold is survived by his wife, Jane; and his daughters, Mary and Alice.