Robert Buffington Profile Photo
1933 Robert 2024

Robert Buffington

February 11, 1933 — April 24, 2024

Dr. Robert R. Buffington PhD, 91, of Decatur, GA, passed away on April 24, 2024.

Robert (Bob) was born in Belleville, IL in 1933 to Ray and Emily Buffington. He attended Decatur Boys High School from 1946 to 1949, and completed his final year of high school in Orlando, FL in 1950. He accepted a scholarship to Rollins College in 1950 where he would receive a BA in 1954. Robert was also a sports writer for the Orlando Sentinel-Star from 1950 to 1954.

In 1954 he joined the Army and served in Kaiserslautern, Germany until 1956. He received a M.A. from Vanderbilt in 1958 where he received the Vanderbilt Scholar Award. He received an M.F.A. from the University of Iowa in 1962, and a Ph.D. from Vanderbilt in 1967. He would go on to publish his first book, The Equilibrist, in 1967.

During Robert's studies at Vanderbilt in 1958 he would meet and marry Leokardia Boettcher. They would have three children together, Stephanie, Anna, and Christopher.

From 1960 to 1968 Robert would share his love of the literature and the written word as a professor at Rollins College, Vanderbilt University, Louisiana State University, Western Illinois University, and finally Florida State University from 1968 to 1972. Leokardia and Robert divorced in the early 1970's.

In 1973 he would become the editor of the Contemporary Poetry Series for the University of Georgia Press, in 1979 he became its General Editor. In 1978 he would receive a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts for the authorized Biography of Allen Tate. As he continued to work on Tate's biography he became a freelance writer and regular contributor to the Sewanee Review where he received the Monroe K. Spears Essay prize in 2012, the Hudson Review, the Southern Literary Review, Modern Age, the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, the Baltimore Sun, and many other national publications.

Robert is remembered for his love of literature, his dry wit, and his mastery of making the perfect Old Fashioned. Robert was predeceased by his parents, Ray and Emily Buffington, and his daughters, Stephane Buffington and Anna Buffington. He is survived by his sister Judy Hogan, son Christopher, and his grandchildren Gabriella and Nicholas.

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