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Loren Pope (July 13, 1910 – September 23, 2008) was an American writer and independent college placement counselor.

In 1965, Pope, a former newspaperman and education editor of The New York Times, founded the College Placement Bureau, one of the first independent college placement counseling services in the United States. He was a graduate of DePauw University.

His first book, The Right College: How to Get In, Stay In, Get Back In (Macmillan, 1970), was followed by a nationally syndicated article series, "Twenty Myths That Can Jinx Your College Choice," published in The Washington Post Magazine and Reader's Digest. A second book, Looking Beyond the Ivy League: Finding the College That’s Right for You (Penguin, 1995), was written and published several years later.

His final and best-selling work, Colleges That Change Lives (Penguin, 1996), profiled his top 40 choices—schools that he claimed would "do as much as, and perhaps even more than, any name-brand schools to fully educate students and to give them rich, full lives". Many readers felt his books were helpful in choosing a college that caters to the individual needs of students. He focused mainly on private liberal arts colleges, usually with about 1500 students.

Pope was also known for commissioning the Pope-Leighey House in 1939, designed and constructed originally in Falls Church, Virginia, by Frank Lloyd Wright. Pope, who was working as a $50-a-week copy editor at the Washington Evening Star (his employer financed the construction), convinced Wright to build the small house (less than 1,200 square feet) by writing him a famously flattering letter. Pope opened, "There are certain things a man wants during life, and, of life. Material things and things of the spirit. The writer has one fervent wish that includes both. It is for a house created by you." He closed with the plea, "Will you create a house for us? Will you?" The architect's reply was brief: "Dear Loren Pope: Of course I am ready to give you a house."[1]

Pope was married to Viola Pope (August 21, 1911 - August 14, 2008[2]), who lived to the age of 96.


  1. ^ Pope and Wright correspondence, 1939, reprinted in The Pope-Leigh[e]y House (Washington DC: National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1969), pp. 12-15.
  2. ^ [1] Social Security Death Index

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