Robert Payne Collection
Manuscript Collection 293
Pierre Stephen Robert Payne was born December 4, 1911, in Saltash, County
of Cornwall, England; attended St. Paul's School, London.
Attended the Diocesan College, Rondebosch, South Africa and the University
of Capetown, 1928-1930.
Worked as a shipwright's apprentice at Cammell, Laird's Shipbuilding Company,
Attended Liverpool University.
Worked for the Inland Revenue as an Assistant Inspector of Taxes in Guilford.
Attended the University of Munich in summer.
Attended the Sorbonne, in Paris, 1938.
Traveled in Europe.
Covered the Civil War in Spain for the London News Chronicle.
Returned to Barcelona, Spain.
Visited his parents in Singapore.
Worked as a shipwright at the Singapore Naval Base and in 1941 he became
an armament officer and chief camouflage officer for British Army Intelligence
Was sent to Chungking, China, to serve as Cultural Liaison Officer at
the British Embassy.
Covered the battle of Changsha for the London Times.
Taught English literature at Fuhtan University, near Chungking.
1942 August 13
Married Rose Hsiung, daughter of Hsiung Hse-ling, a former prime minister
Moved to Kunming and taught English poetry and naval architecture at Lienta
University. Together with Chinese scholars and poets, compiled and co-translated
The White Pony. Met General George C. Marshall, Chiang Kai-shek, and Mao
Briefly visited India. Interviewed Jinnah and Nehru.
Came to the United States. Lived in Madison Square Hotel, 26th Street
and Madison Avenue.
Spent Christmas in Boston.
Went to California. Mailing address c/o Mary Pritchard, New York City.
Visited San Francisco.
Traveled to Santa Monica, California. Rented a room from Anna Mae Wong,
236 San Vicente Boulevard.
Rented a room from Mrs. Jessie Carmak, 1422 San Vicente Boulevard, Santa
Rented a room from Mrs. Ivy Wilson, 643 North Hayworth Boulevard, Los
Moved to 1538 North McCadden Place, Hollywood.
Moved to 1321 South Hudson Avenue, Los Angeles.
Visited Persia with the Asia Institute Expedition.
Traveled with Arthur Upham Pope to Paris, Constantinople, Baghdad, and
Professor of English and Author-in-Residence at Alabama College, Montevallo.
Founded the Montevallo Review.
Visited New York City.
Letters addressed to Lyman Wyman Spalding, 11577 Missouri Avenue, Los
Received an honorary M.A. degree from the Asia Institute.
Mailing address. R.R. 1, Box 379A, Topanga, California.
Divorced Rose Hsiung Payne.
Visited Charles Olson at Black Mountain College, North Carolina.
Mailing address 21324 Hillside Drive, Topanga, California.
Lived at Royalton Hotel, New York City.
Address Hollywood Athletic Club, 6525 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood.
1953? December 9
Became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
1954 May, October
Visited Rex Stead in Miami Beach, Florida
Shared apartment with James Putnam, 31 West 12th Street, New York City
1955 August, September
Hollywood Athletic Club
Traveled in Europe.
Hollywood Athletic Club.
210 Riverside Drive, New York City
Visited Greece and Rhodes.
1959 January-March 1960
Van Cortland Hotel, New York City
2 West 67th Street.
Bought 2 West 67th Street Apartment
Became the series editor of The Russian Library, issued by New York University's
Washington Square Press.
Chairman of the Translation Committee of P.E.N.
Founded the Translation Center at Columbia with Frank MacShane and William
Married Sheila Lalwani.
1983 February 18, 1983
Died while on vacation in Bermuda.
1983 March 3
Memorial service at the chapel at Columbia University.