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Born in Rome, Italy, Anne Paolucci settled with her family in New York City at the age of eight. She attended Barnard College and Columbia University, where she completed her Ph.D. dissertation on Dante and Spenser. She spent a year as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Rome and returned to Italy later for two years as a Fulbright Lecturer in American Drama at the University of Naples. She taught at City College (CUNY) before joining the faculty of St. John's University in New York as its first University Research Professor.
A Prolific writer in Renaissance drama, dramatic theory, Hegelian aesthetics, Spenser, Dante, Machiavelli, and Theater of the Absurd, as well as classical and Shakespearean tragedy, Dr. Paolucci also translated several works from Italian and French. Her major critical contributions include seminal works on the plays of Edward Albee and Luigi Pirandello.
Founder and President of the Council on National Literatures and for thirty-two years editor of its annual Review of National Literatures (1970-2001) and later, CNL/World Report (1976-2001), Dr. Paolucci established the CNL/Anne and Henry Paolucci International Conference Center in New York in 2000. After Henry Paolucci's death in 1999, she published a number of new books by her late husband, as well as reprints of his work. In recent months, she also published three mystery novels, a book of short stories, and her last book, Henry Paolucci: A Conservative for All Seasons (ISI Books, 2012).
Dr. Paolucci's awards included an honorary degree from Lehman College (CUNY), the knighthood of "Commendatore" from the Italian Republic, and the national Elana Cornaro Award of Order of the Sons of Italy in America (OSIA). In 1986 President Reagan appointed her to the National Council on the Humanities, where she continued to serve under the administrations of Presidents George H. Bush and Bill Clinton. In 1996 she was chosen by Governor George Pataki to serve on the Board of Trustees of the City University of New York, the second largest university system in the United States, and in 1997 she was named Chairman of the Board, a position from which she resigned in 1999 to devote all her time to writing and publishing. In 2008 she received the Lifetime Achievement Award and Gold Medal of the New York State Senate as well as recognition by the New York City Council.
Anne Paolucci passed away on July 15, 2012, after a short illness and a long and illustrious career.