Roger Williams Wescott was born in Philadelphia in 1925, graduated summa cum laude and first in his class from Princeton in 1945. After receiving his Ph.D. in Linguistics there in 1948, he held a Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford. Following anthropological field-work in Nigeria, he founded and directed the African Language Program at Michigan State University. In addition to his academic duties, Dr. Wescott has directed radio programs and made network television appearances.
Of his 550 publications, 40 are books, including The Divine Animal: An Exploration of Human Potentiality (1969), and Sound and Sense: Linguistic Essays on Phonosemic Subjects (1980). He serves as co-editor of the journals Futurics, Forum Linguisticum, and Mother Tongue, and is past president of The Linguistic Association of Canada and the United States. Among his listings are Who's Who in the World; Who's Who in Educational Futuristics, and The World's Who's Who of Authors.
From 1966 through 1991, Mr. Wescott served as Professor of Linguistics in the Humanities Division of the Graduate School and Professor of Anthropology in the Social Science Division of the College of Liberal Arts at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. He founded Drew's Anthropology Department and chaired it for 12 years. For 13 years, he was Director of Drew's Linguistics Program.
During the spring semester of 1980, in Asia, Africa, and Europe, he taught Folklore and Comparative Religion aboard the S.S. Universe, a "floating college" sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh. In 1980-81, Wescott was the Presidential Professor of Humanities and Social Sciences at the Colorado School of Mines. In 1982 and 1983, he served as a forensic linguist in New Jersey state courts.
From 1985 to 1988, he hosted a state-wide New Jersey cable television program entitled "Other Views." In 1988-89, he was the first holder of the endowed Chair of Excellence in Humanities at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. From 1989 through 1991, he served as Director of Drew's Behavioral Science Program. From 1988 to 1996, he served as First Vice-President of the International Organization for Unification of Terminological Neologisms; and, from 1992 to 1995, as President of the International Society for the Comparative Study of Civilizations. He is now Vice President of the Association for the Study of Language in Prehistory and First Vice-President of the World Bank of International Terms.