Ladislav Zgusta
Born(1924-03-20)20 March 1924
Died27 April 2007(2007-04-27) (aged 83)
AwardsGuggenheim fellowships (1977 and 1983)
Academic background
Alma materCharles University in Prague (Ph.D.)
ThesisLexicology of the Cypriot Dialect (1949)
Academic work
Main interests
Notable worksManual of Lexicography

Ladislav Zgusta (20 March 1924 in Libochovice – 27 April 2007 in Urbana, Illinois) was a Czech-American historical linguist and lexicographer, who wrote one of the first textbooks on lexicography.[1] He was the Hermann and Klara H. Collitz professor of linguistics and classics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, starting in 1970 after the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia ended his academic career at Prague's Oriental Institute. With his family he first escaped to India, "in a veritable cloak and dagger episode worthy of a movie" before making his way to the United States.[2] Dutch lexicographer Piet van Sterkenburg referred to Zgusta as "the twentieth-century godfather of lexicography".[3] He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1992, and in the same year awarded the Gold Medal of the Czech Academy of Sciences for his work in Humanities.




  1. ^ R. R. K. Hartmann (2003). Lexicography: Dictionaries, compilers, critics, and users. Routledge. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-415-25366-6.
  2. ^ Hans H. Hock, ed. (1997). Historical, Indo-European, and Lexicographical Studies: A Festschrift for Ladislav Zgusta on the Occasion of his 70th Birthday. De Gruyter Mouton. p. 1. ISBN 978-3-11012-884-0.
  3. ^ P. G. J. van Sterkenburg, ed. (2003). A practical guide to lexicography. John Benjamins Publishing Company. p. 4. ISBN 978-1-58811-381-8.