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Francis J. Thompson Collection [1930-1989]

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Professor of Irish literature and novelist. Francis J. Thompson was born in New York City in 1907. Between 1931-1941, he taught public speaking at City College of New York, studied at New York University, and traveled to Dublin to complete his dissertation, "Fenianism and the Celtic Renaissance." Shortly after receiving his doctorate, Thompson was subpoenaed by the Rapp Coudert Committee of the New York State Legislature, investigated, and then suspended and fired by the CCNY for misconduct related to alleged Communist Party membership. He won reinstatement in December 1947 in a case covered by many histories of academic freedom. After serving in the military from 1943-1946, Thompson taught at Johns Hopkins University, Rollins College, and from the mid 1950s to 1976, at the University of Tampa. He specialized in Irish literature, and during the early 1970s headed the university's Humanities Division. After retirement, Dr. Thompson taught at the Tampa Preparatory School until shortly before his death in 1989. Best remembered for his teaching and literary contributions, Dr. Thompson's novel Abraham's wife focuses on a mixed race marriage between Cubans, the Ybor City section of Tampa, and the War of 1898.