Index of Memorial Resolutions and Biographical Sketches
J. FRANK DOBIE
J. Frank Dobie, professor of English and renowned folklorist, died on September 18, 1964. He was 75. His funeral was held in Hogg Auditorium and he was buried in the State Cemetery.
Professor Dobie was born on September 26, 1888, on his family's ranch in Live Oak County, Texas. He studied at Southwestern University, earning a bachelor's degree there in 1910. He received a master's degree from Columbia University in 1914.
Professor Dobie joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in 1914. His association with the University was interrupted on various occasions. From 1917 to 1919, he served in the field artillery during World War I. In 1920 he again left UT Austin to manage a family ranch for one year. Professor Dobie returned to the University in 1921, but left once more to serve as chairman of the Department of English at Oklahoma A&M University from 1923 to 1925. After returning to UT Austin in 1925, Professor Dobie was a member of the faculty until 1947.
Professor Dobie played a significant role in the Texas Folklore Society. As the society's secretary and editor for 21 years, he built the group into a permanent professional organization. Professor Dobie published many works that established him as a major writer of Texas and the American Southwest. Some of his important works were A Vaquero of the Brush Country (1929), Coronado's Children (1930), On the Open Range (1931), Tales of the Mustang (1936), Guide to Life and Literature of the Southwest (1942 and 1952), Tongues of the Monte (1947), Tales of Old Time Texas (1955), and I'll Tell You a Tale (1960). He won the Literary Guild Award for Coronado's Children and held both Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellowships.
Professor Dobie was honored for his achievements abroad and in the United States. In England he held the chair in American history at Emmanuel College, Cambridge University, and received an honorary master's degree there. He served as the honorary consultant on American cultural history for the Library of Congress. He was also awarded the Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civil award, from President Lyndon B. Johnson, on September 14, 1964, only days before his death. Special editions of the Texas Observer and the Austin American-Statesman were published to acknowledge his contributions to the state's literature and folklore. The Dobie Paisano Fellowship for writers and other artists was named in his honor.<signed>
John R. Durbin, Secretary
The General Faculty
Biographical sketch prepared by Teresa Palomo Acosta and posted on the Faculty Council web site on November 17, 2000. Additional biographical sources can be found in the Barker Texas History Center, the UT Office of Public Affairs, and the New Handbook of Texas, Texas State Historical Association, 1996.