Walter Hooper, a man who dedicated his life to the writings of C.S. Lewis, has just died at the age of 89, reportedly to Coronavirus, Christianity Today reports.
Hooper spent his life promoting, preserving, and meditating on C.S. Lewis’s writings. Hooper also briefly worked as Lewis’s literary secretary, where he helped the world-recognized Christian apologist answer his fan mail before Lewis died in 1963. He also left a teaching job at 33 to take up a position managing Lewis’s literary estate. It was from this job that Hooper promoted Lewis’s work before he died.
“As we got on very well, he asked me to stay on as his private secretary, so I moved in. In August I had to go back to America. While I was away, we corresponded about the future and were making plans, but Lewis died before I could return, on 22 November 1963, about an hour after President Kennedy was shot.” Hooper said in an interview with The Independent.
Hooper has reportedly edited more than four volumes of letters and more than 30 collections of Lewis’s works. Additionally, he wrote the first authorized biography of Lewis in addition to a number of studies and reference volumes.
“I hero-worshipped him, and still do,” Hooper continued in The Independent interview. “I can’t think of a better way of spending my life than by making his contribution better known.”
During his days managing Lewis’s literary estate, he protected some of Lewis’s manuscripts and papers from destruction.
Hooper was born in Reidsville, North Carolina and graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1954.
Hooper worked tirelessly to make sure Lewis’s works remained on bookshelves and in bookstores around the world.