USC professor emeritus Paul Ilie, an expert in European history and Spanish literature, died on July 18 in Los Angeles. He was 84 years old.
Ilie is best remembered for his passion for intellectual engagement, his ability to genuinely communicate with people and his dedication to independent thought, according to USC News.
Ilie graduated from Brown University with master’s and doctoral degrees in romance languages and literatures. He then taught at the University of Michigan, Hebrew University of Jerusalem and UCLA.=
Ilie joined the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences in 1982 and taught for 15 years before retiring as a professor emeritus in 1997. Aside from teaching, Ilie wrote over 100 academic articles and literary criticisms, authored eight books and received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1965 to expand his research in Spanish and Portuguese literature.
Shortly before his death, Ilie had been working on a novel concerning the 17th century Spanish King Felipe V.
Jesús Torrecilla, a Spanish literature professor at UCLA and former doctoral student of Ilie’s, expressed the gratitude and admiration he felt for Paul Ilie.
“It is hard for me to convey the deep sense of gratitude I have for Paul Ilie as a mentor and as a role model,” Torrecilla said to USC News. “I could not be the scholar and the person I am today without the influence of Paul. Because of this, I feel that even if he is sadly not around us anymore, he will continue to be with us always.”