Well-Known SLU Scholar, Walter Ong, Dies at 90
St. Louis, MO – A well-known Jesuit priest and scholar at Saint Louis University has died. Walter Ong was 90.
He was called one of the greatest intellectuals of the 20th century and was published more than 400 times and lectured around the world. There will be a memorial for Ong next Tuesday at St. Francis Xavier Church in Grand Center.
Ong died Tuesday night at St. Mary's Hospital after a long illness. He was a lifelong teacher, student, thinker and writer.
His ideas about communication and culture drew a following as varied as feminist thinkers and psychologists, and were used to analyze the language of subway graffiti and Martin Luther King Jr.'s speeches.
He pioneered the study of oral tradition and print culture, and showed how various forms of communication, from storytelling to handwritten manuscripts and cyberspace, shaped thoughts, relationships and cultures.