J.L. Dillard, born in 1924 as Joey Lee Dillard, died in 2009. He, along with William A. Stewart, was one of the strongest early advocates of the Creole origins of African American English. The linguist was a professor at the Northwestern State University of Louisiana.
Dillard authored numerous articles and books on the subject of African American English, including Black English (1973), Perspectives on Black English (1975), Black Names (1976), and A History of American English (1992). One of his essays on language diversity in Louisiana may be found here.
There are no available obituaries for this scholar.
–Modified from an Obit presented at the second African American Language conference, held at the University of Texas, San Antonio on November 3, 2010.