Knoll, Robert E., 1922-
Born in Liberty, Nebraska, on 3 February 1922, Robert E. Knoll graduated from Omaha North High School in 1940. He attended the University of Nebraska, graduating with a bachelor of arts degree in 1943. Knoll served in the U.S. Army from 1943 to 1946, earning the rank of 1st Lieutenant. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, graduating in 1950 with a doctorate in Shakespearean studies. Knoll joined the English department faculty at the University of Nebraska in 1950. He taught at UNL for 40 years and held several distinguished titles including the George Holmes Professor of English and the Paula and D.B. Varner Professor of English. Robert Knoll married Virginia Koehler in 1953 and had three children. He died on 8 January 2009.
Knoll received numerous honors and awards throughout his career, including being honored as a Fulbright lecturer, fellow of the National Humanities Institute, and Rotary's "Nebraskan of the Year." In 1988 the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education named Knoll "Nebraska Professor of the Year." After retiring in 1990, he wrote Prairie University: A History of the University of Nebraska. He has authored more than 30 essays, books, and reviews and has contributed to several television features. Knoll served as president of the Central Renaissance Conference and was one of the founding trustees of the Shakespeare Association of America. Knoll was also chairman of the Wright Morris Festival and served on the board of governors for the Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial and Educational Foundation.