William Rainey Harper

1856-1906. Semitics scholar. Born in Ohio of Scotch-Irish ancestry, he held a Ph.D. from Yale by 1875, and in 1879 became professor of Hebrew at the new Baptist Union Theological Seminary at Morgan Park, Illinois. He returned in 1886 to teach Semitics at Yale, to which was added in 1889 the chair of biblical literature. Two years later he became head of the new University of Chicago, into which the Morgan Park seminary was integrated with Harper assuming responsibility also for the Semitics department. Over the next fourteen years his enormous energies burnt out his life, but not before he had created a great graduate university. He produced a major commentary on Amos and Hosea (1905), and from 1884 edited the periodical Hebraica.