Kenneth C. Kaufman

Class of
Kenneth C. Kaufman

Kenneth C. Kaufman

“A man is worth to the world exactly what he can do; he is worth to himself exactly what he can enjoy.”
Kenneth Kaufman


Born in Kansas, Kenneth Kaufman moved to Oklahoma’s Cherokee Strip and grew up on a farm on the line between Custer and Caddo counties. Though he never finished high school, Kaufman attended Southwestern State Teachers College (now Southwestern Oklahoma State University) at Weatherford in 1908 and graduated with degrees from the University of Oklahoma in 1916 and 1919. From 1916 to 1929, he was head of the Department of Modern Languages at Central High School in Oklahoma City before returning to OU as an assistant professor of Modern Languages, then associate professor, professor, and finally chairman of the department in 1942. Kaufman was managing editor of OU Press’ Books Abroad, a quarterly magazine devoted to the works and reviews of foreign authors. His book, Level Land, was published to wide acclaim in 1935, and he authored The Daily Oklahoman column, “The Way I See It.” In 1949, OU’s Kaufman Hall was dedicated in his honor.

Fun fact

Fluent in five languages, Kenneth Kaufman translated several German and Scandinavian books. In 1949, OU’s Bizzell Library dedicated the Kenneth C. Kaufman Memorial Room, in appreciation of “Kaufman’s gift of himself to OU.”

Oklahoma connections

Kaufman moved with his parents to the Cherokee Strip in 1898.









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