William Terry Couch

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William Terry Couch (1901–1989) was a U.S. intellectual and academic editor, known primarily for his work as director of the University of Chicago Press in the 1940s, and his work as Editor in Chief of Collier's Encyclopedia in the 1950s and 1960s. He also wrote and commented extensively on encyclopedias, their organization and role in modern society and academia. Friends, family and colleagues knew him as Bill Couch.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country comprising 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

University of Chicago Press university press in the United States

The University of Chicago Press is the largest and one of the oldest university presses in the United States. It is operated by the University of Chicago and publishes a wide variety of academic titles, including The Chicago Manual of Style, numerous academic journals, and advanced monographs in the academic fields.

<i>Colliers Encyclopedia</i>

Collier's Encyclopedia was a United States-based general encyclopedia published by Crowell, Collier and Macmillan. Self-described in its preface as "a scholarly, systematic, continuously revised summary of the knowledge that is most significant to mankind", it was long considered one of the three major contemporary English-language general encyclopedias, together with Encyclopedia Americana and Encyclopædia Britannica: the three were sometimes collectively called "the ABCs".


Couch was born in Pamplin City, Virginia in 1901. He was raised in Virginia and North Carolina and settled in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 1910 (?). He attended the University of North Carolina and after brief military service immediately following World War I, returned to Chapel Hill to work for the University of North Carolina Press where he rose to be the director of the press and therefore a member of the university faculty. His brother, John Couch was also a member of the University of North Carolina Biology Department faculty. In 1943 (?), Couch was hired by the University of Chicago to direct its press under then Chancellor Robert Maynard Hutchins. He was subsequently dismissed from that position in 1949 after a significant public academic controversy over the publication of Morton Grodzin's book Americans Betrayed. Couch had published the book after refusing Hutchins's request to suppress the manuscript. [1] He subsequently was hired as Editor and Chief of Collier's Encyclopedia, a position he held until 1969 (?) when he retired and moved back to Chapel Hill.

Pamplin City, Virginia Town in Virginia, United States

Pamplin City is a town in Appomattox and Prince Edward counties in the U.S. state of Virginia. The population was 219 at the 2010 census.

Chapel Hill, North Carolina town in Orange County, North Carolina, United States

Chapel Hill is a town in Orange, Chatham, and Durham counties in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Its population was 57,233 in the 2010 census, making Chapel Hill the 15th-largest city in the state. Chapel Hill, Durham, and the state capital, Raleigh, make up the corners of the Research Triangle, with a total population of 1,998,808.

University of North Carolina public university system throughout North Carolina, USA

The University of North Carolina is a multi-campus public university system composed of all 16 of North Carolina's public universities, as well as the NC School of Science and Mathematics, the nation's first public residential high school for gifted students. Commonly referred to as the University of North Carolina System or the UNC System to differentiate it from the original campus in Chapel Hill, the university has a total enrollment of over 183,001 students and in 2008 conferred over 75% of all baccalaureate degrees in North Carolina. UNC campuses conferred 43,686 degrees in 2008–2009, the bulk of which were at the bachelor's level, with 31,055 degrees awarded.

Couch married Elizabeth Calvert in 1925 (?) and had two children, Elizabeth and Jane.

He died in 1989 in Charlottesville, Virginia after a prolonged illness.

Charlottesville, Virginia Independent city in Virginia, United States

Charlottesville, colloquially known as C'ville and officially named the City of Charlottesville, is an independent city in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It is the county seat of Albemarle County, which surrounds the city, though the two are separate legal entities. This means a resident will list Charlottesville as both their county and city on official paperwork. It is named after the British Queen consort Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, who as the wife of George III was Virginia's last Queen. In 2016, an estimated 46,912 people lived within the city limits. The Bureau of Economic Analysis combines the City of Charlottesville with Albemarle County for statistical purposes, bringing its population to approximately 150,000. Charlottesville is the heart of the Charlottesville metropolitan area, which includes Albemarle, Buckingham, Fluvanna, Greene, and Nelson counties.

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  1. Stephen O. Murphy, "The rights of research assistants and the rhetoric of political suppression: Morton Grodzins and the University of California Japanese-American Evacuation and Resettlement Study", Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, Volume 27 Issue 2, pp. 130-156