Paul G. Ruggiers (29 April 1918 - 8 April 1998) took his B.A. at Washington and Jefferson College, 1940, and then entered Cornell University where, after service in the Army during World War II, he completed a doctorate in English letters in 1946.  He spent his entire teaching career at the University of Oklahoma.  Recipient of a Ford Fellowship (1954-55), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1956-57), and a Fulbright Research Fellowship in Italy (1961-62), Dr. Ruggiers was awarded three professorial titles at the University of Oklahoma, being named a David Ross Boyd Professor in 1964, a George Lynn Cross Professor in 1972, and Distinguished Professor of Humanities in 1979.  In 1997 he was elected to the Oklahoma Educators' Hall of Fame.
     His publications, apart from numerous articles and reviews, include a translation of Barbi's Life of Dante (1954), Florence in the Age of Dante (1964), and The Art of the Canterbury Tales (1965).  Dr. Ruggiers also edited several books, among them Cultural Leadership in the Great Plains (1957), Modern American Reader (with Irving Ribner, 1958), A Homage to Dante (with W. B. Fleischman, et al., 1965), Versions of Medieval Comedy (1977), The Canterbury Tales (facsimile with transcription of the Hengwrt manuscript, 1979), and Editing Chaucer: The Great Tradition (1984).  In 1977 he started a publishing firm, Pilgrim Books, to provide facsimile editions of six important Chaucer manuscripts (listed above).  In addition Pilgrim Books published a variety of monographs by other scholars, and the first five issues of Studies in the Age of Chaucer.  Dr. Ruggiers was also the founder of the New Chaucer Society (1977), serving as its director for five years, and of the Variorum Chaucer (1967), serving as general editor until his retirement in 1988.  Dr. Ruggiers continued to work on the project even after retirement, and he was engaged in editing the Chaucer Encyclopedia (in progress) at the time of his death.