Robert Fitzgerald (1910 - 1985) was born in Springfield, Illinois, and attended Harvard University, where he received an excellent education in the classics. After college, he started to translate Greek poetry to keep up his skills. They were published and soon earned him the reputation as one of the best Greek translators in English. Though more known for his translations, Fitzgerald is also a poet in his own right. In poems such as "Song after Campion," Fitzgerald's strong classical influence mixes with the English Renaissance tradition to create pristine lyrical poetry. For both his poetry and translations he earned many awards including the Poet Laureate of the United States.
An educator, journalist, translator, editor, and author, Robert Fitzgerald distinguished himself in several literary fields. He earned the Bollingen Award in 1961 for his verse translation of Homer's Odyssey, and his translation of Homer's epics and of such works as Sophocles's Oedipus Rex and Euripedes's Alcestis earned acclaim for their clarity. These works have, say critics, become classics in their own right. Fitzgerald's own writings include the poetry collection Spring Shade and the critical volume Enlarging the Change. He also edited collections of poetry and prose by James Agee. Fitzgerald was Boylston Professor of Rhetoric at Harvard University from 1965 to 1981.