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Harford W. H. Powel collection on T. S. Eliot

Biographical note

Harford Willing Hare Powel, Jr. was born to Harford Willing Hare and Lydia Valentine Bond Powel in New York City in 1916. His father was an accomplished writer and publicist, who collaborated with others on a variety of works, from musical comedy to an assessment of advertising. Harford Jr. grew up in Boston, after moving there with his parents as a young child. During World War II, Powel enlisted in the U. S. Army, where he served in a variety of departments, from Quartermaster's Corps to the K-9 Division to the Signal Corps. In the latter branch, he worked as a staff photographer in the Southwest Pacific and the Phillipines, attaining the rank of Sergeant. In 1945, while on maneuvers, he suffered a serious injury which resulted in several years of convalescence. He subsequently attended Brown University, earning his A.B. degree in 1952 and an M.A. in English in 1954. That same year, he joined the faculty of Phillips Andover Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, where he taught English for the next few years. Increasing debility due to his war-related injury forced his retirement at the end of 1959.

Powel married Virginia Lewis Worthington sometime during World War II, prior to his departure for the Phillipines. Virginia Powel taught art for some years at Abbot Academy, and was the illustrator of a book of Andover reminiscences entitled In My Time. They apparently had no children.

Following his retirement from teaching, Powel attempted to keep active. He planned to write a musical comedy and a series of articles on the Dorr Rebellion. It is unknown whether he was able to complete these projects. However, he did write a volume of poems that was published in 1967, after his death. Powel died in Andover, Massachusetts in 1965.