George V. Bobrinskoy

George Vladimir Bobrinskoy[note 1] was a Russian-born American sanskritist. He was professor emeritus in the departments of linguistics, Slavic languages and South Asian literature and civilization at the University of Chicago.

George V. Bobrinskoy was born in Tula, Russia as Count Georgiy Vladimirovich Bobrinskiy. He was a "left-hand" descendant of the Russian empress Catherine the Great.[2] After the Russian Revolution he fled his country and thereafter immigrated to the United States in 1923.[3]

Then at Yale University he was a graduate student of Franklin Edgerton.[4] Bobrinskoy left Yale University in 1927 to join the “Department of Comparative Philology, General Linguistics, and Indo-Iranian Philology” at University of Chicago as the “Instructor in Sanskrit”. In the academic year 1929-30, he was promoted to Assistant Professor of Sanskrit of the department.[5]

During the Second World War, the University of Chicago was selected as a Center for Russian language and area instruction under the Army Specialized Training Program. After the death of Samuel Northrup Harper the chairman of the Russian department in January 1943, Bobrinskoy his associate was asked to head the Russian-language program.[6]

After the war he was chairman of the department of linguistics from 1951 to 1966 and dean of students in the humanities division from 1954 to 1967.[3]

Bobrinskoy was married to the civic leader Theodora P. Bobrinskoy[7] with a son George V. Bobrinskoy Jr.[8] and a daughter Theodora Bobrinskoy Shepherd. At University of Chicago he was also the tennis champion of the Quadrangle Club until beaten by Ignace Jay Gelb.[9]