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Richard Astro, PhD

Richard Astro, PhD

Provost Emeritus
Distinguished Professor of English
Department of English and Philosophy
Office: 5016 MacAlister


  • PhD, American Literature, University of Washington, 1969
  • MA, English, University of Colorado, 1965
  • BA, English, Oregon State University, 1964

Curriculum Vitae:

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Research Interests:

  • 20th Century American Fiction
  • 18th Century British Poetry
  • Sports and Social Issues


Richard Astro is Provost Emeritus and Distinguished University Professor at Drexel University. His career has been broad and varied, taking him from a professorship of English to deanships and provosts positions, to consultancies Eastern Europe and in professional baseball.

As an academic at Oregon State University, he participated in the Steinbeck renaissance which resulted in the publication of John Steinbeck and Edward F. Ricketts: The Shaping of a Novelist (1973). He authored a monograph on Steinbeck’s best friend, marine biologist Ed Ricketts (1976), numerous articles on both Steinbeck and Ricketts, and he co-edited books on Ernest Hemingway, Bernard Malamud, and the Literature of New England.

As a dean at Northeastern University, he developed a three seas marine program in Oregon, Jamaica and Massachusetts, a Center for the Study of Sport and Society to address social issues in sport, and he worked as a consultant for the Boston Red Sox, helping players complete their college degrees. As provost at the University of Central Florida, he developed educational partnerships between the University and schools in Poland, Latvia and Moldova. While at UCF, he was named the honorary consul general from Moldova to the State of Florida.

As Drexel’s provost, he served as the Hahnemann provost during that school’s transition to the Drexel College of Medicine, and he helped author the curriculum for what became the Drexel College of Law. After serving as Drexel’s provost, he retuned to full time teaching and research, authoring a book on Ed Ricketts, and serving as a consultant for education and service programs for the New York Mets.

He lives in Orlando and Vero Beach, Florida with his wife, Betty, who has been his partner, his critic, and his guide for more than a half-century. He has a wonderful daughter, Kelly, and they share time with Franklin, Kelly’s bichon frise.

Selected Publications:

  • John Steinbeck and Edward F. Ricketts: The Shaping of a Novelist. Univ. of Minnesota, 1973.
  • Edward F. Ricketts. Boise State University, 1976
  • The Fiction of Bernard Malamud. Ed. With Jackson Benson. Oregon State University, 1976
  • Introduction to The Log from The Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck and Edward F. Ricketts. Penguin Books. 1995.