He received a Regents Scholarship to the University of Nebraska before being called into the Army Air Force in 1942, taking additional college and officer training at the University of Missouri.
Following basic military and flight training, he served as a navigator on B-17 bombers in the Eighth Air Force in England until he was shot down on Dec. 31, 1944. He spent the remainder of World War II in German POW camps, and was liberated by advancing Soviet troops from Stalag Luft One on May 1, 1945. He was honorably separated as a first lieutenant in December, 1945, receiving the Air Medal, the Purple Heart, European area ribbons and the Prisoner of War medal.
After WWII, he earned a BA degree cum laude in 1946, a MA degree in 1947 and a PhD degree in 1950 in psychology from the University of Minnesota. After holding positions at The Psychological Corporation in New York City and the University of Illinois, he became an assistant professor of psychology in 1954 at Ohio University. He was named Distinguished Professor of Psychology in 1978, retiring in 1987. While at Ohio University, he served as chair of the Psychology Department from 1959-63, acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1965-66 and 1984-85, and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences from 1966-71. He also served as acting associate provost for graduate and research programs in 1986-87.
He was author or co-author of five books, including "Know Your Reader," "The Measurement of Readability," "Elementary Statistics," "A Manual for Readable Writing" and "How to Write Readable English," the latter published in London in 1985. He also published 85 articles and book chapters, including "Assessing Readability," which was named a Citation Classic by the Institute for Scientific Information. He served on the editorial boards of eight journals, as well as "The Literary Dictionary."
He received numerous research grants and contracts, and served as a consultant to a number of education, industrial and military organizations. He also held a Fulbright grant to the Open University of England. He received the Best of Show award in the Journal Article Competition of the International Technical Communication Conference in 1978 and the Oscar S. Causey Award for Outstanding Contributions to Reading Research in 1981, and was elected to the Reading Hall of Fame of the International Reading Association in 1997. He is listed in "Who's Who in America" and was listed in the Fourth Edition of "How's Who in the World."
He is survived by his wife, Julie M. Klare of The Plains; a daughter, Deborah Fox of Vero Beach, Fla.; a son, Roger, and daughter-in-law, Connie Schmittauer, of Dublin, Ohio; and a daughter, Barbara, and son-in-law, Galen Fultz, of San Anselmo, Calif. He has a grandson, McCoy, and a granddaughter, Zoe, also of San Anselmo; a granddaughter, Sivan, of Portland, Ore.; and a step-sister, Dorothy Launer, of Fremont, Neb.
A memorial service will be held in April 2006, and contributions may be made to the Red Cross and Appalachian Community Hospice.
From The Messenger, Athens, Ohio, 5 March 2006. Reprinted with permission.
George Klare WWII veteran links: