Rudolph P. Byrd, a prominent black studies scholar at Emory University, has died of cancer. He was 58 years old.
Professor Byrd joined the Emory faculty in 1991. He was the Goodrich C. White Professor of American Studies and founder of the James Weldon Johnson Institute for Race and Difference.
Prior to his appointment at Emory in 1991, Byrd taught at Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota, where he was a member of the department of English and chair of the African and African-American studies program. He also taught in the English Department at the University of Delaware.
Professor Byrd was a graduate of Lewis & Clark College and completed graduate study at Yale University. He was the author or editor of 11 books and the founding co-chair of the Alice Walker Literary Society.