Arnold Rampersad is Sara Hart Kimball Professor Emeritus in the Humanities at Stanford University. A graduate of Bowling Green State University, he earned his Ph.D. in English and American Literature at Harvard. He also taught at the University of Virginia, Rutgers, Columbia, and Princeton. His books include The Art and Imagination of W.E.B. Du Bois; The Life of Langston Hughes (2 vols.); Days of Grace: A Memoir, co-authored with Arthur Ashe; Jackie Robinson: A Biography; and Ralph Ellison: A Biography. His edited volumes include The Oxford Anthology of African-American Poetry; Complete Poems of Langston Hughes; and, as co-editor, Selected Letters of Langston Hughes.
From 2003 to 2006 he served as Senior Associate Dean for the Humanities at Stanford. Winner in 1986 of the National Book Critics Circle Award in biography and autobiography, he was later a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography and, in 2007, the National Book Award in non-fiction prose for his biography of Ralph Ellison. He won fellowships from the MacArthur Foundation (1991-1996), the J.S. Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the ACLS. Princeton University awarded him its Howard T. Behrman Medal for distinction in the Humanities. In 2011, he received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama at the White House. Harvard awarded him its Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Medal in 2014. He holds honorary doctorates from Harvard, Yale, Columbia, and the University of the West Indies, among other schools. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.