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Born in Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, then son of Charles Grosvenor Osgood and Mary Josephine. Married (1910) to Isabella Sheldon Owen.
Osgood earned his B.A (1894) and his Ph.D. (1899) from Yale, where he taught until 1905 when he transferred to Princeton. He stayed at Princeton until his retirement in 1937.
Osgood published little of relevance to James Boswell, but had introduced a course called "Dr. Johnson and His Circle" in his days as an instructor at Yale. He founded a similar course when he went to Princeton in 1905. Pottle writes of him that "One of the wisest of Johnsonians, he always spoke wisely of Boswell" and he was a significant factor in the growing interest in Boswell scholarship that grew up simultaneously at Yale and Princeton in the first decades of the 20th century. His course at Yale was continued by Chauncey Tinker.1