Willmoore Kendall Jr (1909-1967)
Typewriter Topics, October 1922
Willmoore Kendall Jr was an American conservative writer and professor of political philosophy. Kendall was born on March 5, 1909, in Konawa, Oklahoma, to a blind First Methodist Church minister, the Reverend Willmoore Kendall Sr (1887-1942), and his wife, Pearl Anna Garlick Kendall (1887-1977).
Willmoore Jr learned to read by using a typewriter at age two, graduated from high school at 13, from the University of Oklahoma at 18, and published his first book at 20. In 1932, he became a Rhodes Scholar and studied at Oxford University. He became a Trotskyist and went to Spain during the Spanish Civil War. His experiences with the Spanish Republic led him to renounce his communist convictions. In 1940, he obtained a PhD in political science from the University of Illinois. He served in the OSS during World War II, and stayed on when it became the CIA in 1947. He joined the Yale University faculty, where he taught for 14 years. Among his students was William F. Buckley Jr, with whom he founded the National Review. Kendall later converted to Roman Catholicism, taught at the University of Dallas and was a founder of the politics program and co-founder of the doctoral program there. He died of a heart attack on June 30, 1967, aged 58.
Kendall is the model for the character Jesse Frank in S. Zion's 1990 novel Markers.