Biography of Robert T.
Robert T. Henderson
by Edward Anthony
Bob Henderson was a quiet, friendly man. His genuine reluctance
to talk about his accomplishments hid a remarkable career of
versatile service to the profession of language teaching and
learning. He was a student-oriented teacher, a gifted low-key
academic administrator, an eager participant in English language
programs abroad. A devoted member of TESOL, he always attended
its annual meetings.
The stark fact that he died in Hawaii a victim of homicide has
shocked his colleagues, his friends, and the numerous students
present and past who benefited from his teaching. The news of
this tragic death has caused all who knew him a deep sense of
inconsolable personal loss.
It is fitting in this brief encomium to acknowledge just a few
of his contributions to language pedagogy. He stayed on at the
University of Pittsburgh after earning his Ph.D. and gave stability
and balance to many language-related programs as a teacher and
talented administrator. At the time of his death he was director
of the Language Acquisition Institute and of the Professional
Translation Certificate Program. He chaired the Language Resource
Center Planning Committee. Earlier he headed two Latin American
Studies field trip programs for the University, directed Pitt's
Language Laboratory, and its English Language Institute in Japan.
Abroad on other English teaching missions, he served the Peace
Corps in Ibague, Colombia and at the Centro Colombo-Americano
Binational Center in Manizales. In the US, he left the University
of Pittsburgh for 3 years to become edi-tor, English as a second
or foreign language, for Litton Educational Publishing In-ternational
His recent interests focused on the International Association
for Learning Laboratories (IALL) as its current president. Their
notice to members about his death describes him as "good
natured and unassuming, kind, and considerate... warm, humorous,
affectionate...competent...." That says it all.
We will miss him.
Edward Anthony is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, University
of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and a former President of TESOL.
Robert Henderson Language
Media Center, University of Pittsburgh
Last revised: August 24, 2001