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Ben Belitt

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NORTH BENNINGTON -- Mr. Ben Belitt, 92, a resident of Prospect Street and a 50-year member of the Bennington College faculty died Sunday morning at the Crescent Manor Care Center following a long illness.

He was born in New York City May 2, 1911. Ben was the son of the late Joseph and Ida (Levitt) Belitt. He received his early education in the New York City schools.

He was a 1932 graduate of the University of Virginia where he received his master’s and doctorate degrees. Mr. Belitt’s first position was as the assistant literary editor of Nation Magazine.

In 1938 he joined the faculty of Bennington College where he taught literature until his retirement in 1988.

In earlier years, Mr. Belitt also served on the dance faculty at summer schools at Bennington College, Mills College and Connecticut College.

Ben was a widely respected author and poet throughout the country.

Widely recognized in his field as a poet, scholar, essayist, journalist and translator, Mr. Belitt was the recipient of many national awards including the Shelley Memorial Award for poetry, the Oscar Blumenthal award in poetry, the Chicago Civic Arts Award, the Brandeis Creative Arts award, the National Institute Arts and Letters award in poetry, a Guggenheim Fellow, a National Endowment for the Arts grantee, the Ben Belitt lectureship endowment at Bennington College, the Russell Loines award for poetry at the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, a Rockefeller Foundation in Bellagio, Italy and a fellow at the Vermont Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He was also a member of P.E.N., the Authors Guild and Phi Beta Kappa.

Mr. Belitt was also a World War II Army veteran.

The funeral will be held from the Mahar and Son Funeral Home Monday Aug. 18, 2003 at 1 p.m. with Rabbi Howard Cohen, of Beth El Congregation, officiating.

The burial will take place in the family lot in the Hinsdiville Cemetery, North Bennington.

Contributions in memory of Mr. Belitt may be made to the Bennington Rescue Squad through the office of the Mahar and Son Funeral Home, 628 Main St., Bennington, VT 05201.
Published in Bennington Banner on Aug. 18, 2003
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