Biography

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Last Updated on May 7, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 281

Brent Ashabranner was born on November 3, 1921, in Shawnee, Oklahoma. In 1941 he married Martha White, and the couple later had two daughters. After serving in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1945, he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. Following his graduation...

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Brent Ashabranner was born on November 3, 1921, in Shawnee, Oklahoma. In 1941 he married Martha White, and the couple later had two daughters. After serving in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1945, he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater. Following his graduation in 1952, Ashabranner taught at Oklahoma State University until 1956, when he began work as an educational materials adviser in Ethiopia, Libya, and Nigeria for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Beginning in 1961, Ashabranner worked for the Peace Corps, as a director in Nigeria and India, and eventually as the acting deputy director.

Born in Boston on October 29, 1922, Russell Gerard Davis attended Dartmouth College before transferring to Holy Cross College, where he received his bachelor's degree in 1943. In 1946 he married Mary Elizabeth Carroll, with whom he raised seven children. Over the next nine years, Davis taught at Cranwell School in Lenox, Massachusetts, and at Harvard University, where he earned his master's degree and doctorate in education. While working as a researcher in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the International Cooperation Administration in 1957, he met Brent Ashabranner. Returning to the United States in 1957, Davis became the research director at Boston College, where he remained until 1962, when he became a lecturer and researcher at Harvard. He has since worked for the Peace Corps, the U.S. Navy, the State Department, the Ford Foundation, and various private firms in Latin America.

After meeting in Ethiopia in 1957, Ashabranner and Davis collaborated on their first book, The Lion's Whiskers, based on the stories they heard while living in Ethiopia. Since then, the men have co-authored several books for young adults, most of which derive from the folktales and legends of foreign cultures.

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