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Neihardt, John Gneisenau (1881-1973) | Archives & Special Collections, University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries

Name: Neihardt, John Gneisenau (1881-1973)

Historical Note: John Gneisenau Neihardt was born to Nicholas Nathan and Alice Culler Neihardt on 8 January 1881 near Sharpsburg, Illinois.  In 1891 the family relocated to Wayne, Nebraska. Neihardt completed the scientific course of studies at Nebraska Normal College in 1897.  He obtained a Litt. D. from the University of Nebraska in 1917, an LL. D. from Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, and a Litt. D. from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1947. He served as a professor of poetry at the University of Nebraska beginning in 1923.  In 1959 Neihardt was named a Fellow of the International Institute of Arts and Letters in Lindau, Germany.  He received the citation and title “Prairie Poet Laureate of America” from the United States Poets Laureate International in 1968. Neihardt became Nebraska’s poet laureate in 1921, an honor he held until 1973.  He authored dozens of books between 1900 and 1972, including Black Elk Speaks (1932), which has been translated into several languages.  Neihardt died in Columbia, Missouri, on 3 November 1973.

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