Dr. Howard Comfort, an active player in his youth, while an undergraduate at Haverford and all his adult life, was for decades the coach and advisor to the Haverford XI. He was Captain of Haverford’s 1924 Cricket XI.
During a memorable inning in the Halifax Cup of 1924, Dr. Comfort was 139 not out (of a total of 210) for Haverford College against Merion. He remained active in cricket on and off the field his entire life and was an inspiration to all to were fortunate enough to know him.
The Comfort Award was created by the CC Morris Library Association to recognize others who have the same spirit and commitment to the sport as Dr. Comfort.
Dr. Howard Comfort
Memoir, written and read by Amar Singh
at The C.C. Morris Cricket Library Association Annual Meeting – December 4, 1993
The Officers, Committee Members, Member and Friends of the C.C. Morris Cricket Library Association wish to record their profound loss with the passing on of Professor Howard Comfort, who died at Crossland in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania on Monday, September 20th, 1993 at the age of 89.
Dr. Comfort was a prime mover in the establishment of this Library Association and an outstanding participant and supporter of cricket in the United States. A life-long enthusiast of the sport of cricket, he played four years with the Haverford College XI as an undergraduate from 1921 to 1924, the last as Captain, and toured with the team to Canada in 1923 and to England in 1925. Several years later, in 1953, he led a team of Haverford undergraduates and Fairmount Cricket Club players on a very successful tour. He served as Coach of the Haverford College team for nearly three decades and was regarded with great affection and respect by a large number of Haverford College cricketers who remained in awe of his good length bowling and strait bat for many years after his retirement.
Following the suggestion of another famous Philadelphia cricketer, John Lester, Haverford 1896, Howard Comfort served in 1964 as the Chairman of twenty-two distinguished cricketers and supporters of cricket was was a major force in the creation of the C. Christopher Morris Cricket Library and Collection to which he also devoted considerable time in subsequent years as well. This unique Library and Collection, the largest and most varied in the Western Hemisphere, will always be indebted to Dr. Comfort for his foresight, vision, enthusiasm and unstinting support of the game.
Born in Haverford, Pennsylvania he was the son of the late William Wistar Comfort, former President of the College and grandson of his namesake who captained the college team in his day – his father having played for both Haverford and Harvard. He graduated from Haverford School in 1920, Haverford College in 1924, and went on to Princeton to complete an M.A. in 1927 and a PhD in 1932. That year he joined the faculty of Haverford College as Assistant Professor of Classics and retired in 1969 having served as Chairman of the Department of Classics for eleven years.
A world-famous archaeologist. Dr. Comfort’s remarkable talents included serving with the American Legations in Rome and Switzerland, a period at the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton and was a member of the Society of Antiquaries, London and President of Rei Cretariae Romanae Fautores (an international organization which he founded for the study of Roman pots) and the American Philological Society of which he was a long time member. Dr. Comfort was a prolific publisher. He was a member of the Cricket Society in England, the Marion Cricket Club, the 40 Club of Canada and a foreign associate of the M.C.C., London.
A birthright and active member of the Religious Society of Friends he had celebrated sixty three years of marriage to his wife, Elizabeth, in addition to whom he is survived by his son, Wistar, daughter, Laura, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
We salute the life and contribution of an extraordinary figure from the American cricketing scene.