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Ben Wilson

Gender: Male

Ethnicity: Caucasian

Biographical/Historical note:

Dr. Ben Wilson was born on March 8, 1924, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He attended the University of Pittsburgh, but withdrew to serve in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. Following his discharge in November 1945, he returned briefly to the University of Pittsburgh, then transferred to West Virginia Wesleyan College. There he received his undergraduate degree in mathematics and English. He later returned to the University of Pittsburgh and received his master’s in English in 1949. He earned his Ph.D. in English at the University of North Carolina in 1965.

Wilson taught for two years in the English department of West Virginia University in Morgantown before moving to North Carolina to teach at Davidson College. Two years later he moved to Chapel Hill to teach part time at The University of North Carolina, where he taught the first black student to attend the school.

In 1958 Wilson was appointed chair of the English department at Greensboro College and moved to Greensboro. There, he was an active member of the Inter-Faculty Forum, a group of instructors from all of the city’s colleges that frequently discussed social and political issues in the early 1960s. Wilson remained at Greensboro College until retiring in 1991 as head of the Humanities Division.

Wilson later taught at the Furman University Learning in Retirement program. He also worked as an advocate for the mentally ill, serving on the board of John Umstead Hospital in Butner and with other mental health organizations.

Items created by this individual or group:
Item thumbnail image Oral history interview with Ben Wilson by Kathy Carter
Date: May 17, 1989
By: Ben Wilson
From: GreensboroVOICES Collection

In this transcript of a May 17, 1989, oral history interview conducted by Kathy Carter with Ben Wilson, Wilson primarily describes his participation with the Inter-Faculty Forum and their role and ...