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In Memoriam

We remember in this space the passings of OAH members, friends, colleagues, and others within the profession. Please submit your announcement using this form.

Jacob Dorn

The Department of History is saddened to share that Dr. Jacob H. Dorn, professor emeritus, passed away Tuesday morning after suffering a heart attack over the weekend. He was 77 years old. Jake retired in June 2012, after an extraordinary career of 47 years of teaching, scholarship, and service at Wright State and in the wider community.   

 

Jake was among the founding faculty of the University. He obtained his PhD. from the University of Oregon at the remarkably young age of 25. Shortly thereafter, he began teaching at what was then the Dayton campus of Ohio State and Miami Universities in 1965. He joined the faculty full time when the university became independent, and rose to the rank of full Professor by 1974. He taught American history, and specialized in social, intellectual and religious history, particularly in the Progressive Era. In 1972 he founded, and was the director for the next fifteen years, of the university's Honors Program. He oversaw countless senior and Master's theses. Generations of students considered him an outstanding teacher and mentor.

 

He was also an accomplished scholar. Jake was the author of Washington Gladden: Prophet of the Social Gospel (Ohio State University, 1967), just reprinted in paperback. He and his colleagues Carl M. Becker and Paul G. Merriam compiled A Bibliography of Sources for Dayton, Ohio, 1850-1950 (1971), funded by the National Science Foundation . He was the editor of a collection of essays, Socialism and Christianity in early 20th Century America (Greenwood Press, 1998). He was also the author of numerous articles, contributions and book reviews in a variety of scholarly journals and edited collections.

 

Jake believed strongly in selfless service to the university, the profession, and the wider community. He was deeply involved with the Ohio Academy of History, serving two terms as president and on virtually every committee. He was particularly active in the Dayton Council on World Affairs (DCOWA), served as a first reader with the Dayton Literary Peace Prize, and was involved with the National Council on U.S./Arab Relations. He served on the board of the American Baptist Historical Society, with the Ohio Board for United Ministries in Higher Education, and with many, many other organizations. He gave of his time freely for innumerable presentations to community groups large and small. 

 

As one former colleague remembered, "I admired and appreciated Jake for his dignity, depth of scholarship, wisdom, and compassionate concern for people." As another stated, "Jake Dorn was the department." He will be missed by the faculty with whom he worked and the generations of students whom he taught. A memorial service in his memory will be held on Saturday, September 9, 2017 at the Westminster Presbyterian Church, 125 N. Wilkinson St, Dayton, OH 45402 at 11:00 AM. A reception will follow. 

 

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that contributions be made to the Jacob H. Dorn Scholarship Fund. Checks made out to the Wright State University Foundation may be sent to the attention of Sara Woodhull, Wright State University Foundation, 3640 Colonel Glenn Highway, Dayton OH 45435 with a notation that they should be directed to the Dorn fund.

 

Jonathan Reed Winkler

Professor & Chair

Department of History

  

 

Posted: September 28, 2017
Tagged: In Memoriam


Ronald Schaffer

Ronald Schaffer, Professor of History Emeritus at California State University, Northridge, passed away on September 1 at age eighty-five. A Princeton Ph.D. and a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, he taught at Northridge from 1965 to 1999. His most important scholarly works were Wings of Judgment: American Bombing in World War II (1985) and America in the Great War: The Rise of the War Welfare State (1991), both published by Oxford University Press. His articles appeared in prominent scholarly journals, and he consulted extensively for public television. In recent years, he had been at work on a book about American aviators during World War I.

Posted: September 14, 2017
Tagged: In Memoriam


Mary Nickliss

Mary Nickliss, a devoted and loving wife and mother, passed away on May 18, 2017. The OAH Mary Nickliss Prize in U.S. Women's and/or Gender History was created and funded in her honor by her daughter, OAH member Alexandra Nickliss. The prize acknowledges the generations of women whose opportunities were limited by the historical circumstances in which they lived. Mary Nickliss was grateful for the honor the prize bestowed upon her while she was alive. She was the child of Serbian immigrants and a native of Pennsylvania who lived most of her life in California. She was brilliant, methodical, resilient, and strong. Part of a generation that survived the Great Depression, she was an avid supporter of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

Posted: June 27, 2017
Tagged: In Memoriam


Hamilton Cravens

The OAH notes with sadness that longtime member and OAH supporter Hamilton Cravens passed away late last year. His obituary is available here.

Posted: March 10, 2017
Tagged: In Memoriam


Herbert Parmet

The OAH is saddened to learn of the passing of Herbert Parmet. He died on January 25, 2017 at the age of 87. 

The History News Network published an obituary which can be viewed here.

Posted: March 10, 2017
Tagged: In Memoriam


James Horton

The OAH notes with sadness the passing of James Horton, past OAH president (2004-2005) on February 20, 2017. A print obituary will appear in the May issue of The American Historian.

Posted: February 24, 2017
Tagged: In Memoriam


Joyce Appleby

OAH distinguished member and past president Joyce Appleby (1991-1992) died on December 23, 2016. An obituary for her will appear in the May issue of The American Historian.

Her obituary that appeared in the New York Times can be read here.

Her obituary that was issued by the History Department of UCLA can be read here.

Read more >

Posted: February 21, 2017
Tagged: In Memoriam


Mark S. Foster

Mark S. Foster, Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado Denver, (May 2, 1939 - October 21, 2016) was a prolific scholar of twentieth-century American history, authoring eleven books, plus dozens of articles. Among his most well-known books are From Streetcar to Superhighway: American City Planners and Urban Transportation 1900 1940 (1981); Henry J. Kaiser: Builder in the Modern American West (1989); and Castles in the Sand: The Life and Times of Carl G. Fisher (2000). Foster was a life member of the Organization of American Historians, and had been a member for almost 50 years.

Foster taught at the University of Colorado Denver for thirty-three years, beginning in 1972 at what was then a young campus, and retiring in 2005, having helped the university grow toward maturity. His dynamic teaching and intense dedication transformed many students into enthusiastic historians. He loved nothing more than sharing his excitement and apparently infinite knowledge about history with everyone—students and colleagues, as well as friends in any setting.

That excitement about history combined with Foster's avid sportsmanship to produce three scholarly books and many articles on the history of baseball in Colorado. The combination also energized decades of participation in nineteenth-century vintage baseball. In addition, that blend of historian and sportsman animated countless guest lectures in which Foster wore his vintage baseball uniform, alternating between the voice of an 1870s-era gentleman with decidedly illiberal attitudes and his historian's voice.

Foster earned his B.A. in Philosophy at Brown University in 1961. At the University of Southern California, he earned a Master's degree in 1968 and a Ph.D. in 1971, both in American history. His research and teaching won numerous honors at CU Denver, including Teacher of the Year in 1983 and Researcher of the Year in 2001, plus the University of Colorado Medal in 2007.

Contributions are welcome to the Mark Foster Scholarship in History Fund at the University of Colorado Denver.

Posted: November 28, 2016
Tagged: In Memoriam


OAH Mourns the Passing of Allan G. Bogue

The OAH is saddened to learn of the passing of Allan G. Bogue. He died on August 1, 2016 at the age of 95. He served as president of the Organization of American Historians from 1982 to 1983.

Bogue was born May 12, 1921. He was as a Lecturer in Economics and History at the University of Ontario, 1949-1952; an Assistant Professor at State University of Iowa, and the Chair of the Department of History, State University of Iowa, 1959-1963. In 1964 he became a Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 1968 he became the Frederick Jackson Turner Professor of History, a position he held until his retirement in 1991. He was Chairman of the History Department from 1972-1973. He also served as a visiting professor at various universities including the Thord-Gray Lecturing Fellow, Uppsala University, Sweden, 1968 and in 1971-1972, was a visiting professor at Harvard University.

Bogue has won numerous awards for his work including, a Guggenheim Fellowship, 1970, Sherman Fairchild Distinguished Fellow (Cal Tech), 1975. He was elected and inducted into the National Academy of Sciences, 1985-1986 and shared in the Caughey Prize for best book in Western American history in previous year, 1995. He wrote 7 books including From Prairie to Corn Belt: Farming on the Illinois and Iowa Prairies in the Nineteenth Century, 1963, and Frederick Jackson Turner: Strange Roads Going Down, 1998. He also collaborated on 12 other books and published 73 articles during his career.

He was a fellow of the Agricultural History Society, an honorary life member of the Western History Association, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Margaret Bogue, Professor Emerita of the History Department, University of Wisconsin-Madison and three daughters.

Allan Bogue's full obituary can be read here.

Posted: August 8, 2016
Tagged: In Memoriam


Cliff M. Kuhn

OAH member Cliff Kuhn passed away on Sunday, November 8 2015. He was 63 years old. Professor Kuhn was the Executive Director of the Oral History Association and professor of history at Georgia State University. He served as co-chair of the 2014 Annual Meeting Local Resource Committee. Several obituaries and remembrances are posted below.

Atlanta Journal-Constitution Local Obituary 

Georgia State University Statement

'Atlanta Loses Its Greatest Listener: Cliff Kuhn, 1952-2015', Tropics Of Meta

'Cliff Kuhn, local historian who gathered Atlantans' tales and stories, has died', Creative Loafing

Posted: November 20, 2015
Tagged: In Memoriam


Lois Green Carr

Lois Green Carr, Historian for Historic St. Mary's City, recently passed away at the age of 93. Dr. Carr served as the Historian for Historic St. Mary's City for 45 years. During that time published and co-authored numerous books and papers about the Maryland region, among them the book Robert Cole's World which was the recipient of many awards. In 2000, Dr. Carr was inducted into the Maryland Women's Hall of Fame and much of her work is still essential reading for scholars of early American History.

Memorial Services celebrating her life will take place at two locations. There will be a service at 4 pm on September 19 at the re-construction Brick Chapel at Historic St. Mary's City with a reception following at the 1676 State House. Tours will be offered prior to the service at St. Mary's City of the various exhibit sites Dr. Carr played a major role in interpreting. A second Memorial Service will be held in Annapolis at 1 pm on September 20 at the Maryland State Archives.

Dr. Carr's full obituary can be read here.

Posted: August 26, 2015
Tagged: In Memoriam


Francis Paul Prucha

Father Francis Paul Prucha, SJ, life member of the American Historical Association and long-time member of the history department at Marquette University, died on July 30, 2015, at the age of 94. A specialist in the relationship between Native Americans and the United States government, Prucha published or edited more than twenty-five books. His two-volume The Great Father: The United States Government and the American Indians won the Ray Allen Billington Award from the Organization of American Historians and was one of two finalists for the 1985 Pulitzer Prize in history. Prucha published books on nearly every aspect of Native Americans' relationships with white Americans, ranging from military campaigns to trade relations, from treaties to treaty medals, and from education to missionary work. He also published numerous volumes of documents, bibliographies, maps, and guides to researching Native American history.

A native of northern Wisconsin, Prucha served in the U. S. Army Air Force during the Second World War. He recieved his PhD from Harvard University in 1950, the same year in which he entered the Society of Jesus. He came to Marquette University in 1960 and remained there for the rest of his career, serving as department chair for several years and winning the Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1973. Among his many honors was being named a Fellow of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences in 1986, and receiving honorary degrees from several institutions, including Creighton, Merrimack, Marquette, Loyola-Chicago, and the College of the Holy Cross.

Prucha had a long and distinguished relationship with the Western History Association, serving on the editorial board of the Western Historical Quarterly and as the organization's twenty-second president in 1982-1983. The WHA's Arrington-Prucha Prize recognizes the best journal article published each year in Western religious history.

Posted: August 26, 2015
Tagged: In Memoriam


Allen Weinstein

Allen Weinstein, former Archivist of the United States, died on June 18, 2015. Professor Weinstein was the ninth archivist of the United States and served from February 2006 to December 2008. He was the author of Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case (1978).

Read more about Professor Weinstein's career at the Washington Post and in a statement issued by David S. Ferriero, current Archivist of the United States.

Posted: July 9, 2015
Tagged: In Memoriam


David Kyvig

OAH member David Kyvig died on June 22, 2015. He was emeritus professor of history at Northern Illinois University, having begun teaching there in 1999. He won the Bancroft Prize in 1997 for Explicit and Authentic Acts: Amending the U.S. Constitution, 1776-1995 (Lawrence, 1996). Professor Kyvig served on several OAH committees and was a former OAH Distinguished Lecturer.

Read more about Professor Kyvig's career at AHA Today.

Posted: July 9, 2015
Tagged: In Memoriam


Camille Guérin-Gonzales

Professor Camille Guérin-Gonzales, a long-time OAH member, recently passed away on February 24. 

She earned her doctorate at UC-Riverside in 1985, writing the dissertation that eventually appeared in book form, Mexican Workers and American Dreams: Immigration, Repatriation, and California Farm Labor, 1900-1939. Her real love was teaching, which she did at University of Colorado-Boulder, Oberlin College, University of Michigan, UCLA, and University of Wisconsin-Madison. At UCLA, she was among six founding faculty members of the César Chávez Department of Chicana/o Studies. She joined the faculty at UW-Madison in 2001, retiring in 2014.

Memorials may be made to Workers' Rights Center of Madison, Somos Un Pueblo Unidos of New Mexico, Human Rights Campaign, or Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin.

Professor Guérin-Gonzales' full obituary can be viewed here.

Posted: March 17, 2015
Tagged: In Memoriam


Jann Warren-Findley

Public historian and OAH Member Jannelle Warren-Findley passed away on February 4, 2015. Dr Warren-Findley earned her Ph.D in American Studies from The George Washington University and was a Fullbright scholar, teaching in both Sweden and at the University of Maryland in England. She was an Associate Professor of History at Arizona State University for more than 20 years. Dr Warren-Findley served as President of the National Council on Public History and on the Executive Board of the Organization of American Historians. She was also one of the founding directors of the National Collaborative for Women's History Sites in 2004 and served until 2007.

Here full obituary can be viewed here.

The National Collaborative for Women's History Sites 'In Memoriam' can be viewed here.

Posted: February 18, 2015
Tagged: In Memoriam


Otto H. Olsen

Otto H. Olsen, a scholar of Reconstruction, African American and civil rights history, passed away at age eighty-nine on December 4, 2014, in Gainesville, Florida. A graduate student of C. Vann Woodward, he wrote a pathbreaking study of Albion W. Tourgée, the "carpetbagger" lawyer civil rights advocate who organized bi-racial coalitions and fought for black civil rights during Reconstruction in North Carolina (Carpetbagger's Crusade, 1965); edited an important collection of documents, titled The Thin Disguise (1967), on the monumental 1896 Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson; and authored influential articles on the incidence of slave ownership and on various aspects of Reconstruction in North Carolina. His edited collection Reconsruction and Redemption in the South (Louisiana State University Press, 1980) surveyed Reconstruction in the various southern states. Otto earned a bachelor's degree from Columbia University and a doctorate from Johns Hopkins. He taught at various universities before accepting a position at Northern Illinois University, where he spent the majority of his faculty years.

His students remember Otto as much for his sterling personal qualities as his scholarship. Otto had provided dangerous service in the merchant marine during World War II. As a graduate student at Columbia he resisted conformity and worked for labor rights and black equality during the McCarthy era. Of Norwegian descent and of humble, working-class origins, he championed social justice issues throughout his life. In his retirement years he wrote a critique of Cold War mythology but also put the legacy of Presidency of John F. Kennedy in a positive light. To us and his other graduate students, Otto modeled a politically engaged intellectual who was a master of the craft of historical research and writing. He remained a supportive mentor and friend throughout his life. Otto combined humanism, humility, and humor with challenging political insights. He is sorely missed. Otto Olsen is survived by his wife Corrine M. Olsen and two children and grandchildren and a sister.

Michael K. Honey, University of Washington Tacoma
Joseph P. Reidy, Howard University

Posted: February 17, 2015
Tagged: In Memoriam


OAH Mourns the Passing of Past President and Distinguished Member Carl N. Degler

Past President and Distinguished Member Carl N. Degler passed away on December 27, 2014. Professor Degler began his career at Vasser College before moving to Stanford University in 1968. He was one of two men invited to be founding members of the National Organization of Women in 1966. And in 1972, his book Neither Black nor White: Slavery and Race Relations in Brazil and the United States won the Pulitzer Prize. He was president of the OAH from 1979 to 1980. Professor Degler's obituary can be viewed here.

Read more >

Posted: January 17, 2015
Tagged: In Memoriam


Victor Greene

Victor R. Greene, University of Wisconsin Milwaukee Emeritus Professor of History, died on September 5 at the age of 80. A noted scholar and teacher in the fields of American immigration, labor, and popular culture, Professor Greene earned a B.A. cum laude in History from Harvard University (1955), an M.A. in History from the University of Rochester (1960), and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Pennsylvania (1963). Before joining UWM in 1971, Professor Greene taught at the University of Notre Dame and Kansas State University. At UWM, he served on a number of important campus committees, and generously donated to the UWM Foundation and its programs that benefit students. He established a fund in honor of his own hero, former Milwaukee mayor Frank P. Zeidler, an annual award presented to a history master's student interested in American history. Recognizing Professor Greene's long dedication to undergraduate learning, the History Department created the Victor Greene Award to honor the best paper written in a History capstone course. Read More>>

Read more >

Posted: September 11, 2014
Tagged: In Memoriam


Felix Armfield

We wish to thank our colleagues at the Association for the Study of African American Life and History  (ASALH) for allowing us to share this remembrance of Professor Felix Armfield, professor of history at Buffalo State, The State University of New York. Armfield was a longtime member of the Organization of American Historians, joining in 1996, and he served on the OAH Committee on Public History from 2001-2005.

May 6, 2014

Felix ArmfieldIt with great sadness that the ASALH family announces the loss of our former Executive Council member, Dr. Felix Armfield. Felix was an active and dedicated life member of ASALH and had been a member of the association for over thirty years.

A dedicated teacher-scholar, Dr. Armfield has been recognized for his teaching and service at Western Illinois University and Buffalo State College. Most recently, he was awarded the Hero Award from the Disability Services Office, The Students' Award for the Promotion of Respect for Diversity and Individual Differences, and the William Wells Brown Award from the Afro-American Historical Association of the Niagara Frontier.

Dr. Armfield was an active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity. He was very passionate and dedicated to preserving the history and legacy of the fraternity. His most recent publication, Eugene Kinckle Jones: The National Urban League and Black Social Work, 1910-1940, honors the legacy of this important Black leader of the early twentieth century, but it also honors the legacy of one of the jewels of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

Felix Armfield is survived by his father, Jasper Armfield, Jr. (Shirley), Belvoir, NC; his grandmother, Mrs. Christine Armfield, Greenville, NC; his sisters, Kimberly Armfield, Upper Marlboro, MD and Sandy McKenny, Fredricksburg, VA; one brother, Jeffrey Armfield (Venetia), New Haven, CT; his loving godmother, Shirley Hunter, Greenville,NC; and a family of aunts, uncles, nephews, nieces, cousins, and loving friends, including Quince Brinkley, Jacqueline McLeod, Bonita Durand, Ron Stewart, Diane "Cookie" Williams, and Bettye Gardner.

Services will be held on Saturday, May 10, 2014. The viewing/wake will be held at noon and the funeral will follow at 1 p.m. EST at Holly Hill Free Will Baptist Church, 755 Porter Road, Greenville, NC 27834 where Bishop James E. Tripp, Jr. presides. The burial will be at Burial Dancy Memorial Cemetery.

Expressions of sympathy can be sent to his grandmother, Ms. Christine Armfield, 563 Lake Road, #104, Greenville, NC 27834.

Felix possessed an unwavering commitment to his alma mater, 'dear ole NCCU', and the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Therefore, instead of flowers the family requests that you send donations to the Felix Armfield ASALH-NCCU Fund that will support NCCU students' continuous participation in the ASALH. You may send your donations to: The Association for the Study of African American Life and History, 2225 Georgia Avenue, Suite 331, Washington, DC 20059. E-mail: info@asalh.net

Sylvia Y. Cyrus, Executive Director
Association for the Study of African American Life and History

Posted: May 8, 2014
Tagged: News of the Organization, In Memoriam