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Coleman Hamilton Benedict ’34

Published in July 6, 2005, issue

Ben, professor emeritus at Columbia University, where he taught Greek and Latin to generations of undergraduates and graduate students, died of complications from pneumonia April 20, 2005. He was 93

During most of his years at Columbia, from 1953-75, he was the classics department representative of Columbia College and its School of General Studies, and its chairman for several years in the 1970s. In that capacity, but especially in the clasSroom, it was said that "his self-deprecating wit, enthusiasm, and astonishing breadth of knowledge endeared him to and often motivated countless Columbia undergraduates, whose development was his priority as an educator." Ben was able to read in at least 14 foreign languages. In World War II, as an officer in the Army Counterintelligence Corps, he took part in the landing at Normandy, the Battle of St. Lô and the Battle of the Bulge, and also was in the first Army contingent to enter Soviet-controlled Berlin.

Ben was an enthusiastic Princetonian and regular attendee at our New York City class luncheons in the 1980s. "Where else," he once wrote, "have we packed in so much excitement and learning, fun and worry, hard work and hard play as we did in those four years" as undergraduates?

Surviving is Ben's wife of 50 years, Ethyle R. Wolfe Benedict.

The Class of 1934

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