Clifford R. Thompson, Jr., professor of romance languages emeritus who taught Spanish at Bowdoin for 34 years, died on March 4, 2010, in Portland, Maine.
He was born in Portland on July 25, 1933. He graduated from Westbrook High School in 1951 and earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard College in 1955. After graduation, he left academia to serve for two years as a specialist 3rd class with the Adjutant General Corps at 8th Army Headquarters in Japan. He returned to Harvard and earned his master’s degree in 1958. He was named a James Geddes Scholar in 1957, and again in 1958, allowing him to study in Mexico for a summer. He was a Spanish teaching fellow at Harvard from 1958 to 1961. In the summer of 1959, he studied at the Universidad Internacional Menendez Pelayo in Spain. He returned to Harvard after his discharge and earned his Ph.D in 1965. He was appointed an instructor in Spanish at Bowdoin in 1961, and was promoted to assistant professor in 1965, associate professor at in 1971, and full professor in 1977. He retired in 1995, a noted authority on 19th-century Spanish literature, particularly the works of the novelist and critic Leopoldo Alas.