William Vaughn Moody was born on July 8, 1869, in Spenser, Indiana, and his family moved in 1871 to New Albany. He obtained his B.A. (1893) and M.A. (1894) at Harvard University, where he became co-editor of the Harvard Monthly, and joined its English Department in the 1894-95 academic year as assistant to Louis E. Gates. Moody lectured at the University of Chicago in 1895 and stayed there until 1907 when, having risen to Assistant Professor, he left academe to write poetry. By then he had published three verse plays, The Masque of Judgment (1900), The Fire-Bringer (1904), and The Great Divide (1907), one volume of poems (1901), an edition of Milton's works (1899), and a history of English literature (1907). 1908 earned him a D. Litt. at Yale University and membership in the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Moody married Harriet C. Brainerd on May 7, 1909, and died in Colorado Springs on Oct. 17, 1910.
Dictionary of American Biography. Vol. VII. Ed. Dumas Malone. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1934.