Dan H. Laurence: 87, Bibliographer and George Bernard Shaw Scholar, Is Dead

Historians in the News

Dan H. Laurence, a noted scholar, editor and bibliographer who devoted nearly every waking moment of his professional life to compiling the voluminous works of George Bernard Shaw, died on Tuesday at his home in San Antonio. He was 87.

Mr. Laurence died of natural causes, his niece, Jo Fielder, said.

For many years the official literary adviser to Shaw’s estate, Mr. Laurence was considered one of this country’s leading authorities on Shaw (1856-1950), the distinguished Irish playwright, critic, wit, dyspeptic, professional scold, Nobel laureate and holder of oddly variegated enthusiasms. (Among them: creating a new alphabet; wearing only woolen clothing; and, to varying degrees, Hitler, Stalin and Mussolini.)

A former New York University faculty member, Mr. Laurence devoted half a century to hunting down, amassing, editing and annotating millions upon millions of Shaw’s words. In 1970, he left his tenured professorship in the N.Y.U. English department and moved to Texas so he could be near a major Shaw archive at the University of Texas, Austin. Shaw has that effect on people.
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