Rubin, author of books on Charleston history, dies

Louis Decimus Rubin Jr., author and editor of more than 50 books, many of them on Southern literary history and his own youth in Charleston, died Saturday in Pittsboro, N.C.

He was 89.

Born in Charleston, Rubin was an Army veteran, studied at the College of Charleston and graduated from the University of Richmond before receiving a Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University.

Rubin’s writing career began as an unpaid journalist at the Evening Post in Charleston. He later worked at the Roanoke Times, Richmond News-Leader and Bergen Evening Record before becoming an English professor at Hollins College.

At Hollins, Rubin wrote several influential works on Southern authors, and published his first novel, “The Golden Weather,” a semi-autobiographical tale set in Charleston.

After ten years in Roanoke, Rubin became a professor at the University of North Carolina, where he continued to write about the South and Southern authors. In 1982, Rubin co-founded Algonquin Books Publishing Co., which he named after a ship he recalled watching visit Charleston harbor as a boy.

He also wrote several guest columns and literary criticisms for The News and Courier and was a frequent speaker both at home and around the country.

Rubin remained active as an author well after his retirement from UNC in 1989 and Algonquin in 1991.

His last book, “Uptown and Downtown in Old Charleston: Sketches and Stories,” was published in 2010.

Survivors include his wife Eva Redfield Rubin. .

Stuhr’s Downtown Chapel is handling funeral arrangements.

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