Richard Henson was a professor at Rutgers from 1969-1994. A Marine in World War II, in the post war Henson found himself pursuing a master’s degree in philosophy at Swarthmore and then he went on to earn a doctorate at Yale. His focus was ethics, which he explored in scholarly papers on the ethics of the Navajo, “Utilitarianism and the Wrongness of Killing”, “Exuberance: A Philosophy of Happiness,” and more.
Henson came to Rutgers in 1969, when he took up a position as a full professor at Douglass College. Before landing in New Brunswick, he logged a decade at the University of Utah and he had had shorter stints at Cornell and the University of Michigan. At Rutgers, Henson became the centerpiece of the department’s ethics offerings in the then new graduate program. He retired from Rutgers in 1994 and became very active in the Open Eye Theater, where his wife Amie Brockway served as producing artistic director. Among his works: the lyrics for a musical version of “The Odyssey,” directed by Brockway and performed at the Open Eye in New York.