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American Scholar Robert Winter Dies

January 21, 1987

PEKING (AP) _ Robert Winter, an American expatriate who taught Shakespeare and the English language to young Chinese for more than 60 years, died last week at the age of 100, the China Daily said Wednesday.

The report said Winter, a Peking University professor, would be buried Wednesday at the Babaoshan Revolutionary Cemetery, where many well-known Chinese leaders are buried.

Winter grew up in rural Indiana and attended Wabash College, where he studied under poet Ezra Pound.

He later studied at the Sorbonne in Paris and in Italy, taught romance languages at Wabash, Northwestern and the University of Chicago and in 1923 moved to China to teach at Southeastern University in Nanjing.

Several years later he went to Peking to develop the first full-fledged English literature and language program in China at the new Qinghua University.

Winter was one of the few Western scholars to remain in Peking after 1937 when war started with Japan, and he said in interviews that he risked his life to prevent the Japanese from plundering the libraries and laboratories at Qinghua.

He was also said to be active in smuggling guns and radios to communist forces outside Peking.

After joining other scholars in southern Kunming during the war, he returned to Peking in 1946 where he helped leftist students threatened with arrest from Nationalist forces escape into communist-held areas.

In 1968, during the leftist Cultural Revolution, Red Guards ransacked his home, destroyed his books and letters, including some from Pound, and held him in detention for three months.

Retired for some years, and in his 90s, he continued to ride his bicycle around campus and swim in Kunming Lake at the nearby Summer Palace. He reached his 100th birthday on Dec. 31.

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