In Memoriam: Claude-Anne Lopez, 1920-2012

claudelopezClaude-Anne Lopez, a leading authority on Benjamin Franklin who spent decades working on the Franklin Papers project at the Yale University Library, died at her home in New Haven late last month. She was 92 years old and had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

A native of Belgium, she escaped to the United States in 1940. There she met her husband, historian Robert Sabatino Lopez, a refugee from Italy. The couple moved to New Haven in 1946 when Robert Lopez was hired to the history department faculty at Yale.

Claude-Anne Lopez secured a position translating from French to English the handwritten correspondence to and from Benjamin Franklin. After 30 years on the Franklin Papers project, she was named editor-in-chief. The project has now published more than 40 volumes of Franklin’s papers. She retired as editor-in-chief in 1987 but remained a senior research scholar at Yale.

Lopez was the author of several books on Franklin including, Mon Cher Papa: Franklin and the Ladies of Paris (1966), The Private Franklin: The Man and His Family (1975), which she co-wrote with Eugenia Herbert, and My Life With Benjamin Franklin (2000).

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