While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Judith N. McArthur

BAILEY, LIGHT D'ALBERGO (1908–1972). Light D'Albergo Bailey, teacher, translator, and historical preservationist, was born on January 24, 1908, in New York City, the daughter of Rev. and Mrs. Arturo D'Albergo. She spent her early childhood in Sicily, where she received her first education, and after the family's return to the United States she attended schools in New Jersey and New York. She studied at Birmingham Southern College in Alabama and earned a B.A. from the University of Texas in 1930. After marrying Clay Bailey, a teacher, on July 27, 1930, she taught school for a year in Alabama. From 1931 to 1933 Mrs. Bailey taught high school Spanish, Latin, and Italian in Galveston, and from 1934 to 1942 and again from 1944 to 1951 she was an instructor of Spanish at Southern Methodist University, where she also initiated the first regular coursework in Italian. In 1951 the Baileys and their daughter moved permanently to Houston; there Light Bailey joined the faculty of the University of Houston and introduced Italian to the curriculum. With her husband, she established the Clay and Light Bailey Collection on Italian Culture at the University of Houston in 1966.

Light D'Albergo Bailey
Article from the Galveston Daily News about Light D'Albergo Bailey, 1961. Courtesy of the Galveston Daily News. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Bailey's Grave
Light D'Albergo Bailey's Grave. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

Mrs. Bailey published an English translation of Annibale Ranuzzi's Il Texas, first published in Bologna in 1842. She reviewed books for the Dallas Morning News and classical records for the Dallas Times Herald. She also lectured frequently on Italian culture to civic, church, and school organizations. The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs awarded her its Cultural Medal in 1961, and Unico, the Italian service organization, honored her in 1969 for her contribution to the understanding and preservation of the Italian heritage and history in the United States. Light Bailey died in Houston on January 24, 1972. In recognition of her career in teaching and disseminating Italian language and culture, she was posthumously awarded a decoration by the president of Italy. See also ITALIANS.


Biographical File, University of Texas Institute of Texan Cultures, San Antonio. The Italian Texans (San Antonio: University of Texas Institute of Texan Cultures, 1973).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Judith N. McArthur, "BAILEY, LIGHT D'ALBERGO," accessed July 10, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fbacw.

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on August 9, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...