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RG 30/307 - Herbert Shore (1922-2004)

Herbert L. Shore was born on June 6, 1922 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Meyer and Frances (Smiler) Shore.

He received a B.A. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1942. From 1943 to 1946 he served in the U.S. Marine Corps, where he was wounded in the Pacific Theater.

Upon his return to the U.S., he enrolled in postgraduate work at Columbia University and the New School for Social Research in New York City from 1946 to 1948; and at Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, where he received his Ph.D. in 1958.

Shore had a variety of interests that are evidenced by his professional career. He was a university professor, theater director, expert in African theater, oral historian, consultant, writer (plays, stories, poetry and essays) and social activist. He was founding director in 1972 of Theatre for a New Repertory, (TNR)/Moebius Theatre/Dance Ensemble in Los Angeles, California. With his wife and artistic partner, Yen Lu Wong, Professor of Dance and Theater at San Jose State University, California, he collaborated on several works in the 1970s.

During the 1960s, Shore was invited to develop theater programs at several African universities. His work led to close associations with prominent writers and revolutionary leaders. His most enduring connection was with Eduardo Mondlane (Oberlin Class of 1953), founding president of Frente de Libertacao de Mocambique (FRELIMO). With the help of Mrs. Janet Mondlane and others, Shore collected material relating to Mondlane’s life. Eventually Shore donated these materials to the Oberlin College Archives. For his work on behalf of Mozambique, Shore was honored with the Bagamoyo Medal in 1989. He was an honorary member of the African National Congress.

From 1974 to 1988, Shore was director of the Council on the Arts, Culture and Technology (TACT), a UNESCO-related consortium of institutions and organizations involved in interdisciplinary research and later an independent non-governmental organization.

At the University of Southern California (from 1979 until retirement in 1993), Shore served in several capacities, including professor; Associate Dean, School of Performing Arts, 1979-84; and, Director, Division of Inter-Arts and Cultural Studies, 1979-1984. He was senior scholar for the Center for Multi-ethnic and Transitional Studies,1993-2004?, and taught in the graduate program in professional writing,1996-1999.

Numerous fellowships and grants took Shore from Australia to Africa throughout his career. Shore received grant awards from institutions such as the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations, and the Mobil Oil Corporation.

Herbert Shore married Yen Lu Wong on December 23, 1977. They had two daughters, Pia Ilyan Wong Griesenbeck and Maya Iming Richards. He died September 26, 2004 in Davis, California, where he had lived in a retirement home.

For additional information see:
Davis (California) Enterprise, Obituary, October 6, 2004
Herbert Shore Curriculum Vitae, 1989(?) 16 pages
Herbert Shore Collection in Honor of Eduardo Mondlane, 30/307
Who’s Who in America, 2005


Sources Consulted
Oberlin College Seal -