Eugene (Gene) Vanderpool was a distinguished archaeologist whose lifelong dedication to Greece and the Agora is widely recognized. His association with the Agora began in 1932 when he started working at the excavations, and he soon after met Joan Jeffery Vanderpool, who was the site photographer. The couple were married in 1935. Gene's work as a professor at the School left a lasting impact on his students, and his passion for Greece inspired a generation of young classicists. He was also renowned for his famous walks tracing the topography of Attica, and his humorous and wise advice. Many recall his famous quip to aspiring epigraphists that "an inscription is easy to read if you know what it says.”
During World War II, Gene and Joan were among the few Americans who remained in Greece. Gene began the war reporting to the Agora daily but was later interned in a prison camp in Laufen near Salzburg while Joan remained with their children in Athens where she also set up and ran a soup kitchen. Gene faced numerous challenges returning to Greece, but he was finally reunited with Joan and their children in 1945.
The couple are survived by their four children, eight grandchildren, and twelve great-grandchildren, with roughly half of the family residing in Greece.