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Dorson, Richard Mercerlocked

(12 March 1916–11 September 1981)
  • Ann T. Keene


Dorson, Richard Mercer (12 March 1916–11 September 1981), folklorist and historian, was born in New York City to Louis J. Dorson and Gertrude Lester Dorson. His father, the son of Eastern European immigrants, had left school after eighth grade to help support his family. With a talent for business, Louis Dorson eventually became the wealthy proprietor of a wholesale furniture company in the city. Richard, nicknamed Dick, and his two sisters grew up on Park Avenue and were privately educated. After graduating from Philips Exeter Academy, in New Hampshire, in 1933, he attended Harvard University, where he excelled not only in academics but also at tennis and squash. He also coached both sports during his college years, and in 1937, the year he graduated, he became the national intercollegiate squash racquets champion....

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