Professor David Romey
Before Sephardic studies became a legitimate field of its own, those who wanted to pursue Ladino in an academic context often turned to studying Spanish. Such was the case with David Romey, a United States Army sharpshooter who became a prominent Spanish and Ladino linguist. Romey was born in Seattle in 1920 to Marco and Sultana Romey, who were from Tekirdağ and Marmara, respectively. After his honorable discharge from the military in 1946, Romey enrolled at the University of Washington and completed his master’s thesis on Ladino proverbs, sayings, and folktales.
After earning his PhD in Spanish Language and Literature, Romey served as a Spanish language professor at Portland State University, among another colleges. His valuable contributions to the field of Sephardic studies include his corpus of 305 Ladino proverbs translated and re-published as “The Ubiquitous Sephardic Proverb” by his nephew, Rabbi Marc D. Angel. Romey’s collection has been generously shared with the Sephardic Studies Program by David and Joy Maimon.
To read one of Romey’s talks at a 1985 conference, titled “Judeo-Spanish As A Language of Communication, Folklore And Cultural Identity,” click here.