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Raymond Joel Dorius (January 4, 1919 – February 14, 2006) was an academic and a professor of literature at Yale University, Smith College, San Francisco State University, and the University of Hamburg, Germany.

Dorius was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, the son of strict Mormon parents who were a salesman and a teacher respectively.[1] Dorius studied at the University of Utah and Harvard University. In 1949 he got a job as professor at Yale University and in 1958 he became a professor at Smith College. He was one of three professors who were notable for having been fired by Smith College after being arrested for possession of homosexual pornography in 1960. Fellow professors Newton Arvin and Edward Spofford were also fired for the same reason. Their convictiosn were overturned in 1963.[2]

Dorius left the United States after the scandal and worked as a professor at the University of Hamburg in Germany. In 1964 he came back to the United States and got a job as a professor at San Francisco State University.

In 2002, Smith College acknowledged the wrongful termination of the three professors' contracts by creating a lecture series and a scholarship, the $100,000 Dorius/Spofford Fund for the Study of Civil Liberties and Freedom of Expression, and the Newton Arvin Prize in American Studies, a $500 annual stipend.[3]

In 2004, Dr. Dorius released his memoir, My Four Lives: An Academic Life Shattered By Scandal.

Dorius died of bone marrow cancer at his home in San Francisco, California, in 2006.



  • Shakespeare's "King Henry IV, Part 1": A Collection of Critical Essays, Prentice Hall 1971, ISBN 0133870359
  • Discussions of Shakespeare's Histories, DC Heath 1964, ISBN 0669220043
  • My Four Lives: An Academic Life Shattered By Scandal


  • Barry Werth, The Scarlet Professor: Newton Arvin: A Literary Life Shattered by Scandal (Doubleday, 2001), ISBN 0-385-49468-8
  • Joel Dorius, My Four Lives: An Academic Life Shattered By Scandal (2004)

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