The Professor's Fun Fact 11/27/18

Robert Shields

A man named Robert Shields did this every 5 minutes for 25 years. 

Wrote in his diary 

Robert William Shields was born on May 17, 1918, in Seymour, Indiana. Robert started his first diary when he was 17 about his girlfriend at the time. It didn’t work out and Robert stopped writing. In the meantime, Robert was a minister and a high school English teacher in Dayton, Washington. 

However, in 1972, Robert started a diary that lasted the next 25 years. Robert’s routine was to spend about four solid hours a day recounting everything he did; everything from changing a light bulb to his visits to the bathroom. Robert had a condition called hypergraphia, the overwhelming urge to write. 

Before a stroke ended his ability to write in 1997, Robert wrote 37.5 million words that fills 94 boxes. It was donated to Washington State University where it exists today. An example of the entries: April 18, 1994- 6:30-6:35: “I put in the oven two Stouffer’s macaroni and cheese at 350 degrees.” He also talks a lot about his bathroom activities.

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