Daniel T. Skinner

Dr. Daniel Thomas Skinner, who taught foreign languages at Morgan State University for more than three decades and was an avid book collector, died of respiratory failure March 22 at his home in Emerald Estate, a Northwest Baltimore retirement community. He was 91.

Dr. Skinner was born in Boston and raised in the city's Roxbury neighborhood. He was a 1934 graduate of Boston English High School and graduated magna cum laude in 1938 from Harvard College with a bachelor's degree in Romance languages. He was also a member of Phi Beta Kappa.


He was fluent in French, German, Italian, Latin and Spanish when he earned his master's degree in foreign languages from Boston College. In 1953, he earned his doctorate in Romance languages from Harvard University.

From 1939 to 1940, he was a reporter for the Boston Guardian until taking a teaching position at Virginia State College near Petersburg. He was an instructor in French and Spanish at Dillard University in New Orleans when he enlisted in the Army in 1942.


After graduating from Officer Candidate School as a second lieutenant, he was assigned to Europe, where he was a driver and translator.

Dr. Skinner came to Morgan in 1946, where he taught French and Latin until retiring in 1981. He was also proficient in Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Hebrew, Korean and Portuguese.

A world traveler until he was well into his 80s, Dr. Skinner enjoyed collecting books and had an extensive collection of books devoted to black history.

The former longtime Wheeler Avenue resident, who moved to the retirement community in 2005, also enjoyed playing bridge and pinochle.

His wife of 46 years, the former Vyna May Wingood, died in 1995.

Dr. Skinner was a communicant of New All Saints Roman Catholic Church, where a funeral Mass was offered Saturday.

Surviving are two sons, David E. Skinner of Baltimore and John A. Skinner of Washington; two sisters, Veronica Dixon of Baltimore and Gertrude English of Dayville, Conn.; and four grandchildren.