Oreste Francesco Pucciani was born in Cleveland in 1916, the son of an Italian immigrant. He received his BA from Case Western
Reserve in 1939 and his PhD from Harvard in 1943. In 1948 he joined the UCLA faculty, where he taught until his retirement
in 1979. Pucciani was best known as an interpreter of the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre. Among his many works on Sartre's
existentialism, the most notable is the long entry on Sartre, in Gallimard's Histoire de la Philosophie in the Encyclopédie
de la Pléïade, France's most prestigious publication series. At UCLA Pucciani pioneered the teaching of courses on Sartre
before the philosopher's works were translated into English. He was also a theorist and developer of methods of language acquisition,
and in the late 1950s, Pucciani pioneered the "direct method" of language teaching in the UCLA French Department's language
program. In 1967 he embodied the results of the department's experience with the direct method in a highly successful and
influential textbook, Langue et Langage, coauthored with Jacqueline Hamel. In 1965 the French government recognized Pucciani's
dedication to French philosophy, language, and culture with the award of the Knight's Cross of the Legion of Honor. For many
years he was the partner of Rudi Gernreich, the noted fashion designer, until his death in 1986.
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