An informal gathering for family, friends, and acquaintances of Dr. Paul Bredenberg, professor emeritus of philosophy, will be held today from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Whitaker Glen Building B Atrium at 501 E. Whitaker Mill Rd. in Raleigh.
Bredenberg died Sunday, Nov. 15, at 86. He had lived in Raleigh since 1950, where he raised a family, taught philosophy for 36 years and spearheaded a youth tennis program that fostered an entire generation of Raleigh tennis players. He was known as a champion of civil rights in North Carolina, helping found a chapter of the American Civil Liberties Association in Wake County and serving several terms as its president.
During World War II, Bredenberg served as an ensign in the U.S. Navy on a destroyer in the South Pacific. At war’s end, he met his wife-to-be, Gladys Ellis, in Charleston, S.C., where he was stationed.
He completed a bachelor’s degree in philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, skipping his graduation ceremony to get married. After earning a Ph.D. in philosophy from Yale, in 1950 he accepted an appointment at NC State, where he remained a faculty member until retirement in 1986. He studied poetry at Stanford on a Ford Foundation fellowship and obtained a Rockefeller Foundation grant for summer study at Harvard. He chaired the Committee on Academic Freedom of the American Association of University Professors.
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Gladys; his brother, Willard; sons Alfred and Jeffrey, and six grandchildren. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to ACLU Wake County Chapter or Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Raleigh.