Richard Lederer

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Richard Lederer (born 1938) is an American Mensan who is an author and teacher best known for his books on word play and the English language, and his use of oxymorons. His column, "Looking at Language", is syndicated in newspapers and magazines throughout the United States.

Lederer attended Haverford College, entering as a pre-medical student but switching to the English department soon thereafter. He attended graduate school at Harvard Law School and the Masters of Arts and Teaching Program at Harvard University. He taught English and media at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire for 27 years, and also earned a Ph.D in English and Linguistics from the University of New Hampshire.

His books include Anguished English, Fractured English, Crazy English, A Man of My Words, The Word Circus, The Miracle of Language, and The Play of Words. A self-proclaimed "verbivore", Lederer's interests include uncovering word origins, pointing out common grammatical errors and fallacies, and exploring palindromes, anagrams, and other forms of recreational wordplay. He has been elected International Punster of the Year, and was the 2002 recipient of the Golden Gavel of Toastmasters International. He also hosts a weekly radio show, A Way With Words, on KPBS, San Diego Public Radio. He is often a featured speaker at Mensa gatherings.

Lederer is the father of Howard Lederer and Annie Duke, both nationally-ranked poker players, and Katy Lederer, an author and poet.