Jack Matthews

The Ohio Connection

“I can remember standing at the window on Armistice Day and watching the parades below, led by Civil War veterans following their long white beards.”
Jack Matthews, describing the view from his father’s law office at the former Outlook Building on East Broad Street in Columbus.

  • Jack Matthews grew up in the Columbus neighborhood of Clintonville, Ohio.
  • Matthews’s parents hailed from farmland in Gallia County, located along the Ohio River. His father, John Harold Matthews, taught school there and became County Superintendent of Schools.  He studied law under a country judge and relocated to Columbus for a job as assistant district attorney.
  • When he was a teenager, Matthews’s family bought a 120-acre farm bordering Delaware County’s Alum Creek.
  • Matthews was educated at the Ohio State University, where he received both undergraduate and Masters degrees in English Literature.
  • Early in his career, Matthews taught English at Urbana College in Urbana, Ohio.
  • Since 1964, he has taught in the Department of English at Ohio University in Athens, where he holds the title of Distinguished Professor of English.

Matthews’ many awards include the Ohio Arts Council Major Artist Award, and the Ohioana Book Award.

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