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September 14, 2017

Obituary: Myron Taube

Long-time English department professor Myron Taube died Aug. 31, 2017.

Known as “Mike” to friends, Taube served in the Army during the Korean War. He was recruited to Pitt from Kutztown State College in 1966 as a visiting associate professor, teaching fiction writing courses for the department. He joined the faculty full-time in 1969 as a tenured associate professor and was promoted to the rank of professor in 1974, later gaining emeritus status.

Taube was a Victorianist, publishing essays on Thackeray and Defoe, as well as short stories in literary magazines, including the story “The Investigation” in the North Atlantic Review. On retiring, he endowed the Myron Taube Fiction Prize for undergraduate writing majors.

“In every writer, there are joys and sorrows that cannot really be communicated,” Taube said in announcing this year’s award in April.  However, he assured students in attendance, “masterpieces have a way of wanting to be let out. The world wants to know your masterpiece.”

“He was a memorable teacher and much beloved by the students, much sought after and valuable,” said David Bartholomae, professor of English and the Charles Crow Chair. Bartholomae recalled Taube’s work in forming the department’s undergraduate major in creative writing and its Master of Fine Arts program.

Taube recently contributed to Pitt to create the Marion Taube Student Resource Fund in the College of Business Administration, honoring his wife’s career as an instructor there and in the Katz Graduate School of Business.

Taube and his late wife Marion were part of a department group that, beginning in the 1960s, vacationed each year in Cook Forest cabins, in Northwestern Pennsylvania, with Bartholomae and others.

“He was a really warm-hearted guy,” Bartholomae said. “He was a character and full of jokes and of political vitriol.”

He is survived by children David Mark (Michelle), Ethel Marie (Glenn), Martin Gene and Deborah; siblings Jack Harris Taube and Frances Pearl Lederer; and 12 grandchildren. Contributions are suggested to the Myron Taube Award for Fiction Writing, Office of Institutional Advancement, 128 North Craig Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15260 (online at


Filed under: Feature,Volume 50 Issue 2

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