Starr, William Thomas, 1910-1999
- Existence: 1910-1999
William Thomas Starr was born in Kirksville, Missouri, on March 11, 1910. He took a BS in education with a major in French at Northeast Missouri State Teachers College in 1931, and MA (1932) and PhD (1938) degrees in French literature from the University of Oregon. His dissertation was entitled “Romain Rolland's Internationalism”. Starr joined the romance languages department of Northwestern University in 1946 and remained here until his retirement in 1978.
Starr served as instructor of modern language at Phoenix (Arizona) Junior College in 1938-39. He spent 1939-40 studying in France. In 1940-41 he accepted a temporary appointment as instructor of romance languages at Gettysburg College. He remained at Gettysburg as an assistant professor of German until January 30, 1945 when he resigned to take a position with the North Atlantic Engineers Corps, U. S. Army, in New York City. He left the Engineers Corps in July, 1945 to join the Northwestern University faculty as interim instructor of romance languages. At Northwestern he served as an instructor, 1946-48; assistant professor, 1948-57; associate professor, 1957-67; and professor, 1967-78 when he retired as professor emeritus. During the summer of 1960 Starr served as acting chairman of the romance languages department.
Starr took a particularly active role in the anti-Vietnam and related social movements during the 1960s. He was also active in the Modern Languages Association and the American Association of Teachers of French.
On July 20, 1934 Starr married Mega Means. They had two children: William Lawrence, born May 4, 1938 and Jeffery Gordon, born February 3, 1941. William T. Starr died on April 6, 1999.