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William Kirby Rolph (1919–1954)

Dr. Rolph, a Research Fellow in the Department of Political Science, died in Canberra on 23rd December after a very short illness.

Dr. Rolph was a Canadian, aged 35, who came to Canberra with Mrs. Rolph in October, 1952. He had a distinguished academic record, taking his B.A. with First Class Honours at the University of Toronto, and his M.A. and Ph.D. at Brown University, Rhode Island. He was awarded a number of scholarships and fellowships and was elected a graduate member of Phi Beta Kappa. At the time of his appointment to Canberra Dr. Rolph held a Ford Foundation Fellowship in History at Tulane University, Louisiana.

Dr. Rolph had specialised in the study of agrarian movements and his life of Henry Wise Wood, published in 1950 by both the Toronto University Press and by the Oxford University Press, established his reputation as an authority on the Canadian Progressive Movement. In Australia he was working on a study of the Australian Country Party. During his year in Australia Dr. Rolph's scholarship and his understanding of Australian political life had earned for him the friendship and co-operation of a wide circle of Australian political leaders.

His learning was matched by a robust enthusiasm and easy friendliness which means that his loss will be felt by very many in Canberra as well as by his family and many friends in Canada and the United States. Sympathy will be felt especially for Mrs. Rolph.

Original publication

Citation details

'Rolph, William Kirby (1919–1954)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]




23 December, 1954 (aged ~ 35)
Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia

Cultural Heritage

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