Raffel entered the world on April 27, 1928 in New York to parents Harry and Rose. After earning his bachelor's degree from Brooklyn College, his master's degree from Ohio State University in 1949, and his J.D. from Yale University, he was accepted to New York's state bar and worked as an attorney for two years. An editor, a professor of English at the University of Louisiana until 2003, a freelance writer, and a television and radio broadcaster, Raffel has served in many capacities. He is perhaps best known as a translator. Taking classics written in Old English, French, and Spanish as well as poetry in Vietnamese and Indonesian, Raffel has helped open those worlds to English readers. A poet himself, Raffel has seen his poems published along with articles, short stories, novels, and a screenplay. His current project includes Shakespearean plays, while his translation of The Canterbury Tales saw publication in 2008.
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