BENDER, Ernest. Buenos Aires 2.1.1919 — Philadelphia 18.4.1996. U.S. Indologist. Professor in Philadelphia. Born in Argentina as U.S. citizen, came to Philadelphia in the age of four. Educated there, began studies at Temple University (A.B. 1941). From 1941 PG studies at University of Pennsylvania in Indology (W. N. Brown) and Linguistics (Hoenigswald). After a while in the U.S.A.F., he served in 1943-44 as Instructor in Hindi & Urdu in Army Specialized Training Program in Philadelphia and in 1944-46 as coordinator of Army Specialized Training Program in Japanese, also continuing his studies. Ph.D. 1947 University of Pennsylvania, in Oriental Studies. As Rockefeller Fellow in 1947-48 he visited India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Teaching at University of Pennsylvania: 1946-50 Instructor of Indo-Aryan Linguistics, 1950-58 Assistant Professor, 1958-67 Research Associate and Associate Professor, from 1967 Professor of Indo-Aryan languages and literature. Retired in 1989. Unmarried, died alone at home of a heart attack.
Bender was a scholar of Sanskrit, MIA, Hindi and Newari, even Sinhalese, originally also interested in classics and in Cherokee language. Among his special interests were also Jainism and Jaina literature. In 1955-56 he was in India as Guggenheim Fellow working on Old Gujarati, but the long prepared Old Gujarati dictionary remained unpublished at his death. Rather few publications. In 1964-88 he was the editor-in-chief of the JAOS.
Publications: Diss. 1947 publ. as “The Nalarāyadavadantīcarita (Adventures of King Nala and Davadanti): A Work in Old Gujarātī”, TrAmPhilosSoc 40:4, 1951, 267-372.
– Hindi Grammar and Reader. 458 p. Philadelphia 1967; Urdu Grammar and Reader. 487 p. Philad. 1967.
– With T. Riccardi: Introductory Hindi Readings. 304 p. Philad. 1971.
– The Salibhadra-Dhanna-carita (the tale of the quest for ultimate release by Salibhadra and Dhanna): a work in Old Gujarati. Critically ed. and transl., with a grammatical analysis and glossary. 573 p. A.O.S. 73. New Haven 1992.
– Reviews in Language; editor of the JAOS 1964-88.
Sources: *R.J. Cohen, Journal of Asian Studies 55, 1996, 802f.; Th. Riccardi Jr., JAOS 109, 1989, vi-x with photo & 117, 1997, 227; Dir. of Am. Scholars 8th ed. Vol. 3, 1982; MLBD Newsletter 18:9, 1996, 9; Wikipedia.
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