Emeritus Professor of English at Lehman College of The City University of New York, is a native of Minnesota. He graduated from the Minneapolis public schools in 1946, and received his Doctorate from the University of Minnesota in 1960. He taught English at Minnesota, the University of Maryland Overseas Division, Wayne State University, Hunter College, and Lehman College. From 1979 to 1988, He was Chair of the English Department of Lehman College.
He served in the U.S. Army in 1946 and 1947, seeing duty in Arkansas, the Philippine Islands, and Colorado.
He has published articles about the plays of Henry Fielding, the subject of his Ph.D. dissertation. In 1968 he published a scholarly edition of John Gay's The Beggar's Opera (1728), and in 1969 he published a similar edition of Fielding's The Grub-Street Opera (1731), both with the University of Nebraska Press. He first published Writing About Literature (then named Writing Themes About Literature) in 1964, with Prentice Hall. Since then, this book has undergone eleven separate revisions, for a total of twelve editions. In 1986, with Henry E. Jacobs of the University of Alabama, he published the first edition of Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing. After Professor Jacobs's untimely death in the summer of 1986, Professor Roberts continued working on changes and revisions to keep this text up to date. The Ninth Edition was published early in 2009, with Pearson Longman. The Fourth Compact Edition of Literature: An Introduction to Reading and Writing was published in 2008.
Professor Roberts is an enthusiastic devoté of symphonic music and choral singing, having sung in local church choirs for forty years. Recently he has sung (bass) with the New Choral Society of Scarsdale, New York (where he lives), singing in classic works by Handel, Beethoven, Bruckner, Bach, Orff, Britten, Brahms, and others. He is a fan of both the New York Mets and the New York Yankees. When the two teams play in inter-league games, he is uneasy because he dislikes seeing either team lose. He also likes both the Giants and the Jets. He has been an avid jogger ever since the early 1960s, and he enjoys watching national and international track meets.
Professor Roberts encourages queries, comments, and suggestions from students who have been using any of the various books. Use the following email address: email@example.com