Pompeu Fabra i Poch, (Barcelona 1868 - Prada de Conflent 1948) was a Catalan grammarian, the main author of the normative reform of contemporary Catalan language.
Trained as an industrial engineer, from a quite young age he dedicated himself to the study of the Catalan language. Through a group called L'Avenç, he promoted a campaign to reform Catalan orthography (1890-91), publishing in (1904) with Jaume Massó i Torrents and Joaquim Casas i Carbó a Tractat d'ortografia catalana. He participated actively in the First International Congress of the Catalan language (1906). In 1912 he published his Gramática de la llengua catalana.
Fabra moved from Bilbao to Barcelona in 1911, to become a professor (catedràtic) of Catalan -- a position created by the diputació (local government) of Barcelona -- and a member of the department of philology at the newly created Institut d'Estudis Catalans, of which he later became president.
The Institute published the Normes ortogràfiques in 1913, the Diccionari ortogràfic in 1917, and its official Gramàtica catalana in 1918.
In 1918, Fabra edited the textbook Curs mitjà de gramàtica catalana, published by l'Associació Protectora de l'Ensenyança Catalana (1918).
His "Converses filològiques", first published in the newspaper "La Publicitat", were later collected as "Popular Barcino". Probably his most famous work was the Diccionari general de la llengua catalana (1932), the first edition of what was later to become the Institute's official dictionary.
In 1932, owing to his scientific prestige, he was unanimously named a professor (catedràtic) of the Republican Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (not to be confused with the later Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona created in the 60s during the Francoist régime).
The Barcelona of this period, prior to the attempted destruction of Catalan culture and language by the forces of Generalísimo Francisco Franco was one in which intellectuals such as Fabra were well known and widely respected, and were Catalan was the everyday language in the street.
Imprisoned in 1934, he only became more popular in Catalonia. In 1939 he went into exile in France, where he was to live in Paris, Montpellier and Prada de Conflent. He presided over the literary competition of Jocs Florals in Montpellier in 1946. Every year, his tomb in Cuixà near Prada, is visited by thousands of Catalans.