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Paul Murray Kendall (March 1, 1911 – November 21, 1973) was an American academic and historian.
Kendall was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Frankford High School in 1928. He studied at the University of Virginia, receiving a bachelor's degree in 1932, and master's in 1933. In 1937, while studying for a Ph.D, he became an instructor in English at the Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. He obtained a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 1939, and continued as professor at Ohio University.
In 1939 Kendall married Carol Seeger, one of his former students. Carol Kendall was an author in her own right.
Kendall's teaching was primarily concerned with Renaissance writing and Shakespeare. He was granted tenure in 1947, and was appointed Distinguished Professor of English in 1959, one of the first three academics at Ohio University to receive this honor.
In 1950 Kendall was awarded a Marburgh Prize from The Johns Hopkins University for a three-act play, The Ant Village. He published both light verse and scholarly articles. In 1952 he was awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship which assisted him in completing Richard III, which was published in 1955. It is for that work that he is best known. This work was a scholarly defence of the controversial monarch. It relied heavily on primary sources and made a significant contribution to the arguments for a favourable view of Richard. The work was critically very well received and was a runner-up for the National Book Award in 1956.
In 1957 Warwick the Kingmaker and History of Land Warfare were released. In 1963 The Yorkist Age was released. In 1970 Kendall retired from Ohio University to become head of the Shakespeare Institute at the University of Kansas. In 1971 his work, King Louis XI was published. In 1979 his novel, My Brother Chilperic, was published posthumously.
Paul Kendall died on November 21, 1973, aged 62. Kendall was survived by his wife and two daughters, Gillian Murray Kendall, who teaches Renaissance subjects and Shakespeare at Smith College, and Caroline Kendall Orszak, who recently retired from a career in publishing in the UK, and lives in Western Massachusetts.