Born on 26 September 1922, Eric grew up in the English seaside town of Southampton where he attended Taunton’s School (now Richard Taunton Sixth Form). Eric was talented in music and spent much of his childhood learning the violin and viola. In addition to playing in the school orchestra, he played at local institutions and parties with a small orchestra put together by his friends.
In 1941 Eric left Southampton to begin his studies at LSE. However, it was not in London where he started his higher education journey. The UK government had taken over LSE's campus owing to World War II, and the School had consequently been evacuated to Peterhouse College in Cambridge. Eric's time at LSE in Cambridge was busy as he served in the Home Guard, the Cambridge University Senior Training Corps, and the Royal Marines. In 1943, Eric's academic journey was put on hold as he was called up for active service. He went on to fight in the Atlantic, European, and Southeast Asian theatres.
The war ended in 1945, but Eric was not discharged until 1946 when he was based at the Singapore Naval Base in Seletar. It was not until 1947 that Eric was able to return to LSE to complete his degree. Now that the School was back on Houghton Street, Eric became a resident and the student secretary at Passfield House in Cartwright Gardens, a hostel that briefly existed before LSE’s first hall of residence, Passfield Hall, opened. Eric’s fondest memories of this period at LSE are of playing hockey against other colleges and writing for The Student Observer.
After graduating from the School, an American GI friend from Passfield House recommended him to apply for a job at Cornell College in Iowa. Eric obtained the position and moved to the US where he has lived ever since. Eric went on to enjoy a long and successful academic career teaching at the City College of New York, Columbia University, Smith College, the University of Wisconsin , and the State University of New York, as well as working as a visiting professor for Stanford, Harvard, and Yale.
In 1951 Eric married his wife Marie Vera Turbow, an art teacher and Russian art history scholar, in New York City. They have one daughter, Sophie Lampard Dennis, and three grandchildren.
May 2023 Update: We are sad to announce that Eric died in April 2023 at the age of 100.5 years old.