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Feibleman, James Kern, (1904-) | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center

Name: Feibleman, James Kern, (1904-)

Historical Note:

James K.  Feibleman, philosopher, poet, and businessman, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1904 and began his career as a poet at the age of 15, writing primarily for the New Orleans "little magazine," The Double Dealer.  He also wrote short stories and novels, and his first book, Death of God in Mexico, was published in 1931.  Later, he became involved in the family business as assistant manager of a New Orleans' department store (1925-1929).  In 1930 he became vice-president and general manager of the James K. Feibleman Realty Company, Inc., and in 1954 he was made a partner in the Leopold Investment Company.

Literature had always attracted Feibleman more than business, however, and he became friends with such prominent literary figures as Sherwood Anderson, William Faulkner, and Roark Bradford.  His literary associations, coupled with the shortage of teachers during World War II, led to his being hired as acting assistant professor of English at Tulane University in 1943.  In 1945, he joined the faculty of the philosophy department, becoming chairman in 1951.

A prolific writer, Feibleman was the author of over 39 books on subjects ranging from philosophy, sociology and psychology, to education and the arts.  More than 175 of his articles appeared in textbooks as well as professional and popular magazines.

Feibleman also served as Special Lecturer in the Department of Psychiatry at Louisiana State Medical School from 1958 to 1967.  He was W.I. Irby Professor of Philosophy at Tulane from 1968 to 1974.  In 1974 he was appointed the first Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Tulane.  He was awarded the degree of Doctor of Letters from Rider College (1973), and while serving as Bingham Professor of Philosophy at the University of Louisville (1975-1976), he was awarded the Doctor of Humane Letters there.  He is past president of the Pierce Society and the New Orleans Academy of Science, and is an honorary member of Phi Beta Kappa.  In July of 1975 Feibleman was named Emeritus professor at Tulane.  He retired in 1977 and died in 1987.

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