Edward L. Hart

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Edward LeRoy Hart was a professor and Rhodes scholar. He also wrote scholarly articles and poetry.

Hart was born in Bloomington, Idaho, on December 28, 1916, and attended schools in Bloomington and Paris, Idaho. He graduated from the University of Utah and received a Rhodes Scholarship and used it to study at Oxford University after World War II where he received a D.Phil. degree. He also held a master’s degree from the University of Michigan.

He taught at the University of Washington for three years before moving to Brigham Young University where he taught English from 1952 to his retirement in 1982. Hart continued to teach one honors class a year at BYU until 1995. He was a visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley for one year (1959–60) and at Arizona State University (1968). He was a Senior Fulbright Lecturer in Pakistan from 1973–74.

While at BYU, he served as Rhodes scholarship representative and prepared seven successful candidates for Rhodes awards.

Hart published numerous poems and scholarly articles. He wrote or edited seven books. He published a collection of poems on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Church of Jesus Christ.

He received numerous professional awards, including the BYU Maeser Research and Creative Arts Award, 1968; the Utah Academy Redd Award in the Humanities, 1971; the BYU P.A. Christensen Humanities Lectureship, 1983; and a BYU Presidential Citation, 1998. He received fellowships and grants from the American Philosophical Society and from the American Council of Learned Societies. He was a Fellow of the Utah Academy and past president of the Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association, of the Association for Mormon Letters, and of the BYU Chapter of Phi Kappa Phi. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Modern Language Association of America, and was a charter member of the American Society for 18th Century Studies.

He is listed in Who's Who in the West, Who's Who in America, Who's Who in the World, Contemporary Authors, Directory of American Scholars, Directory of American Poets and Fiction Writers, and Who's Who in Writers, Editors & Poets.

He served on the Board of the Utah Arts Council for eight years and as Chair of the Literary Committee, during which time he instituted several new awards in the annual writing competition, including the publication prize. He was instrumental in the publication of the updated "Utah: A Guide to the State," 1982.

A number of his poems were set to music. He is perhaps best known for “Our Savior’s Love,” a well-loved hymn in the 1985 Hymns of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In addition to his scholarly interests, he was was a middle distance runner, half-mile run Idaho state high school champion (1935), and twice conference mile-run champion at the University of Utah, where he was also captain of the track team in 1939.

Hart served four years as a U.S. Naval Intelligence officer during World War II, stationed in Washington, D.C., Pearl Harbor, and at the end of the war in Japan as a translator and interpreter.


He passed away on March 9, 2008. He and his wife, Eleanor, were the parents of four children. She passed away in 1990. He was married to Leah Yates Bryson from 1993 to her death in 2001. He then married Frances Cannon Lee in 2007. He was a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.