Professor Claude L. Hulet
December 22, 1920 – August 22, 2017
Claude L. Hulet, 96, of La Cañada, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, August 22. Born in rural Michigan in 1920, his early years as a farm child gave him the strong curiosity and deep character to voyage on a large life of scholarship and exploration.
After early studies in Spanish at the University of Michigan, Claude joined the U.S. Air Force during World War II as a top-security cryptographer and a station chief for more than two years in Brazil. Completing his studies after the War he taught both Spanish and Portuguese literature as a young assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis, then in 1958 accepted an invitation to come west to the University of California, Los Angeles, where his work came to transform Brazilian and Portuguese studies.
At UCLA, in addition to many scholarly articles he published an early bibliography in two volumes of Latin American poetry and Latin American prose, and created a three-volume historical survey of Brazilian literature. Leading a pioneering program in Portuguese studies, Prof. Hulet directed the UCLA-Brazil Student Leader Seminar on U.S. culture, each year selecting 16 to 20 student participants from personal interviews with students at universities throughout Brazil. He also created and then directed the annual international Symposium on Portuguese Traditions at UCLA, with participants from around the world, for 32 successive years.
Claude was one of the first to use an engineering mainframe computer to do word processing, and later helped to introduce the first international university-to-university computer information network, established between UCLA and universities in Brazil. For many years Claude was an active member of the Adventurers’ Club and until recently served as a member of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. He was honored as an Officer of the Order of Rio Branco, as well as Comendador of the Order of the Southern Cross by the Brazilian Government, and was elected a Corresponding Member of the Lisbon Geographic Society and Corresponding Member of the Brazilian Academy of Letters.
Claude is survived by Maria José, his wife of 34 years, as well as his three sons Claude Jr. (Cathy), Richard (Bonnie) and Roger (Zola), stepson Miguel Pedro Boniface (Francisca) and grandson Michael Sean Boniface. In lieu of flowers please consider a contribution to the Salvation Army, U.S. Coast Guard Foundation, American Cancer Society or the Catalytic Foundation.
Sponsored by CMRS and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. The event will be held in the Sierra Room at the UCLA Faculty Center.
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