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JACOB CLAVNER LEVENSON


1922 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
JACOB CLAVNER LEVENSON Obituary
LEVENSON, Jacob Clavner Edgar Allan Poe Professor Emeritus at the University of Virginia, died peacefully in his home on Monday, September 3, 2018, surrounded by his family.

Jack was born October 1, 1922, in Boston, MA, the son of Joseph Mayer and Frances Anna Hahn Levenson. He was educated at the Boston Latin School and Harvard College. After early graduation in January 1943 he entered the U.S. Army, where he ended as the chief noncom of the signal construction group of Advance Section, Communications Zone. In the course of service from Omaha Beach to central Germany, he was awarded five battle stars, and the Bronze Star Medal for his service during the Battle of the Bulge. Early in the training phase of his Army career, he spent several months in Chicago at the Army Air Force radio school, and while there he met Charlotte Elizabeth Getz. In the two years of vigorous correspondence that followed, friendship gradually deepened into mutual love. When he returned to the United States they became engaged, and they married on D-Day plus two years, June 6, 1946.

On the troopship that brought him back to the United States, Jack read the paperback Armed Services edition of The Education of Henry Adams. The questions it raised about American history and politics and social fragmentation led to a Ph.D. from Harvard. His dissertation formed the backbone for his subsequent book, The Mind and Art of Henry Adams.

Jack taught at Harvard, the University of Connecticut, and the University of Minnesota before coming to Virginia in 1967, where he taught American literature including Mark Twain and Stephen Crane until retirement in 1997.

Jack is survived by his three children, Anne Brown of Anchorage, AK, Jill Eisenberg of Minnetonka, MN, and Paul Levenson of Lexington, MA, and by his six beloved grandchildren, Samuel and William Eisenberg, Elizabeth Brown, and Isabel, Felix and Henry Levenson.

A memorial service will be held at Congregation Beth Israel in Charlottesville, VA at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, September 5. In Jack's memory donations may be made to the Charlotte Getz Levenson Odyssey Scholarship Fund at the College of the University of Chicago.
Published in The Boston Globe on Sept. 5, 2018
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