Dr. Earle Gene Labor of Shreveport, who was generally accepted as the world’s foremost Jack London scholar, passed away on Thursday, September 15, 2022. He was a beloved professor at Centenary College of Louisiana for over 40 years as well as Director of the Jack London Research Center. Selected as Southern Methodist University’s Outstanding Senior Man in 1949, Dr. Labor was appointed to a Fulbright lectureship at the University of Aarhus, Denmark and was chosen as Louisiana Humanist of the Year in 1991. He edited numerous volumes of London’s works and authored the definitive London biography, Jack London: An American Life, for which he received the coveted Golden Spur award, as well as a memoir, The Far Music.
Dr. Labor was born in Tuskahoma, OK, on March 3, 1928; he earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees from Southern Methodist University and his Doctor of Philosophy from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.
In addition to his parents, Dr. Labor is preceded in death by his wife, Betty Labor. Dr. Labor is survived by his wife, Gayle Labor; children, Royce Labor and wife, Rhonda, Phillips Kirk Labor and wife, Penny, Earle Kyle Labor and wife, Helen Taylor, Isabel Hamiter and husband, Jimmy, and Andrea Labor; and grandsons, Erik Labor and wife, Julia, Christian Hamiter, and Harrison Hamiter.
A memorial service will be held at Centenary College’s Brown Chapel, on Woodlawn Avenue, Saturday, November 12, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. Officiating the service will be Dr. Don Webb.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials may be made to the Betty Labor Fund at Centenary College of Louisiana, Centenary College Development Division, 2911 Centenary Boulevard, Shreveport, LA 71104.