1933 – Born in Cadillac, Michigan of Norwegian immigrant parents and he was brought up in Lansing, Michigan
1955 – Attended Michigan State University and graduated this year earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism.
1956-1975 – He was a Fulbright Scholar in Norway from 1956 to 1957.
1957 – Graduated with a Master’s Degree in English.
1958 – An article on his research of the "male Cinderella" figure called "Askeladden" in Norwegian fairy tales in the Journal of American Folklore was his first real professional publication.
1961 – Attended Indiana University for his Doctorate Degree in Folklore. His dissertation was The Taming of the Shrew Tale (Aarne-THompson Type 901) in Folklore and Literature.
1961-1965 – Taught at the University of Idaho.
1965-1966 – Taught at the Southern Illinois University.
1966 – Taught at the University of Utah from 1966 to 1996.
1970-1971 – He was given the Fulbright Research Grant in Romania and he was also a Guggenheim Fellow. He was also a Professor of English since 1971, specializing in Folklore.
1973-1974 – He was given the IREX Fellowships in Romania. He was also a Fellow of the American Folklore Society since 1974.
1976-1980 – Editor of American Folklore.
1980 – His first urban legend publication was an article based on a class lecture in Psychology Today on the month of June in this year.
1981 – His first urban legend publication insipried his firs book, The Vanishing Hitchhiker. He also received IREX Fellowship in Romania, this year.
1984 – A second book was published, The Choking Doberman.
1985 – Became the President of American Folklore Society.
1986 – Published the Mexican Pet this year.
1989 – Published Curses! Broiled Again!
1993 – Published The Baby Train.
1996 – At the age of 63, he retired on the month of June 1996.
1999 – Published Too Good to be True.
2000 – Published in 2000, is his book The Truth Never Stands in the Way of a Good Story.
2001 – The Encyclopedia of Urban Legends was published.
2003 – Published a book in 2003 entitled Casa Frumoasa: The House Beautiful in Rural Romania, a study of exterior decoration of peasant houses.