Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Josephine Miles  

Pen Name: None


Born: 1911 in Chicago, Illinois


Illinois Connection

Josephine Miles was born in Chicago.

Biographical and Professional Information

Although born in Chicago, Josephine Milesmoved around a lot with her family, eventually relocating to Southern California. Due to a disabling arthritis, she was educated at home by tutors, but was able to graduate from Los Angeles High School in a class which included the composer John Cage.Miles attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in English literature before moving to the University of California, Berkeley to pursue her doctorate. She remained in Berkeley for the rest of her life, receiving many highly-coveted fellowships and awards until her death in May 1985. She was the first woman to receive tenure in the English Department at Berkeley and, at the time of her death, held the position of University Professor, one of the rarest and most prestigious honors in academic life.

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