Rudolph Byrd (Courtesy: Emory Unversity)
ATLANTA (AP) - Emory University professor and African-American studies expert Rudolph Byrd has died. He was 58.
Emory spokesman Ron Sauder says Byrd died Friday from multiple myeloma, a cancer of the plasma cells.
Byrd is a founding co-chair of the Alice Walker Literary Society and helped bring the Pulitzer Prize winning author's literary archive to Emory's library. He also founded the university's James Weldon Johnson Institute, a residency program that brings together scholars to study the modern civil rights era.
Earlier this year he published a new critical edition of Jean Toomer's "Cane," with Harvard scholar Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Emory University Provost Earl Lewis called Byrd "an individual with an enormous spirit" who was committed to educating his students and to fostering connections between the university and the broader Atlanta community.