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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.

Bertram Wyatt-Brown

The OAH is saddened to learn of the passing of Bertram Wyatt-Brown. Wyatt-Brown died November 4, 2012. He was 80 years of age.

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Posted: November 6, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


Paul Young

OAH member and Utica College professor of history, Paul Young, died On October 1, 2012. He was 67.

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Posted: November 5, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


John C. Williams

John C. Williams, an OAH life member, died on October 19, 2012 in Brewster, MA. He was 74 years of age. Williams received his BA in history and MA in teaching from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He taught history and Social Studies for 36 years, much of it in the Weston (MA) Public Schools.

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Posted: October 25, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


Henry F. May

Henry May, one of his generation’s most distinguished historians, died Saturday, September 29, at the age of 97. May was Margaret Bryne Professor of American History Emeritus at the University of California Berkeley, where he had taught from 1952 until his retirement in 1980.

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Posted: October 11, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


Irene Neu Jones

Professor Irene Neu Jones, 96, of Marietta, died October 5, 2012 at Marietta Memorial Hospital. Professor Jones was born March 21, 1916, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Frederick F. Neu and Mary Clara (Holderman) Neu. She graduated from Marietta College in 1944 with a degree in history, and obtained her PhD in history from Cornell University in 1950. As a professor of history, she dedicated the next 66 years of her life to the education of college students and the expansion of their knowledge of history. During her active professorial career, she held numerous chair positions. Upon her retirement from full time teaching, she was named Professor Emeritus at Indiana University in Bloomington, Ind., in November of 1986. She was an active member of St. Mary Catholic Church in Marietta. A strong supporter of the Legacy Library of Marietta College, Irene was an active volunteer there until her death. She also served on the board of directors of The Women's Home of Marietta.

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Posted: October 11, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


Anna Kasten Nelson

Distinguished Historian-in-Residence at American University, died at her home in Washington DC, on September 27, 2012. Anna K. Nelson taught courses related to the history of American Foreign Relations from 1783 to the present. She wrote her dissertation and published on the diplomacy of the 19th century before moving her research into the post World War II period. In addition to her teaching and research, she has testified before Congress and written in support of Freedom of Information Act and access to documents in the National Archives. She was a member of the Department of State Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation and received a presidential appointment to the John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Review Board. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dr. Paul Nelson, and is survived by her sister Reba Kasten Nosoff, her two sons, Eric (Sarah) and Michael; and her three grandchildren Faith, Marc, and Jeffrey Nelson.

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Posted: October 11, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


James Lorence

James Lorence, died in June 2012. For 35 years he had taught at the University of Wisconsin Marathon County. Lorence joined the OAH in 1964.

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Posted: August 21, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


Lee Benson

Dr. Lee Benson, professor emeritus of history and a Distinguished Senior Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania's Netter Center for Community Partnerships, died on February 10, 2012. He was 90 years of age. Dr. Benson, a 45-year member of the OAH, graduated from Brooklyn College in 1947. He received his MA from Columbia University in 1948 and his PhD from Cornell University in 1952.

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Posted: June 12, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


Thomas J. Pressly

Longtime OAH member Thomas J. Pressly died at age 93 on April 3, 2012.

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Posted: June 1, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


Betty Miller Unterberger

OAH notes with sadness the passing of longtime member Betty Miller Unterberger. A native of Scotland, she began her college career at Syracuse University, earned her Master's degree at Radcliffe College (now Harvard), and completed her PhD at Duke University. A pioneer in her own right, Unterberger was Texas A&M's first female professor, and was the first woman president of the Society of Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR). Read more about her life in a profile OAH printed in August 2005 in the OAH Newsletter.

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Posted: May 17, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


Naomi Wulf, 1964-2012

Naomi Wulf’s many American friends were deeply saddened to learn of her death on April 17, 2012, after her courageous, decade-long struggle with cancer. Naomi was a key figure in the American Studies community in France and throughout Europe. Born in 1964 of mixed Franco-American parentage, Naomi promoted a broader and deeper understanding of her two countries through her scholarship and her warm personal connections with fellow scholars.

Naomi completed her PhD. under the mentorship of the distinguished Americanist Elise Marienstras at Université Paris Diderot-Paris 7 and first taught at Paris-12, now the Université Paris-Est Créteil; in 2007, she was named professor of American History at the Universit? Sorbonne Nouvelle-Paris 3. At the time of her death Naomi was revising her prize-winning doctoral dissertation for publication as a book, “Democracy in America”: Orestes Brownson, American Critic of Jacksonian America. Naomi was convinced that this brilliant and eccentric preacher, social reformer and Catholic convert offered an illuminating counterpoint to Alexis de Tocqueville’s famous contemporaneous account of the new nation’s political culture in his classic Democracy in America. Naomi worked on her project for many years, exploring Brownson’s Jeffersonian roots as a fellow at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies (Monticello) in the Fall of 2010.

Naomi had a genius for collaboration and conference-organizing. Co-author of two monographs with her mentor Elise Marienstras, Naomi also edited volumes of conference proceedings and special issues of journals with Marienstras, Marie-Jeanne Rossignol, and Nathalie Caron. With Caron, her dear friend and now professor at Paris-Est Créteil, Naomi published “Les Lumières américaines: continuitiés et renouveau” in the on-line journal Transatlantica in 2009. This important essay was awarded the David Thelen Prize for the best foreign-language article on American history at the April meeting of the Organization of American Historians in Milwaukee and will be appear in English translation in The Journal of American History in 2013.

Naomi Wulf will be sorely missed by everyone who had the privilege of knowing her.

Peter Onuf, University of Virginia
Nathalie Caron, Paris-Est Créteil

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Posted: May 7, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


Paul S. Boyer 1935-2012

The OAH notes with sadness the passing of Paul S. Boyer, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin, and fifty-year member of the OAH. http://www.cressfuneralservice.com/obituary/89729/Paul-Boyer/

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Posted: March 23, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


Gerald T. Flom, 1930-2011

Posted: January 30, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


Sarah Ruth Hammond, 1977-2011

More information is available at: http://theoberlinnewstribune.com/obituaries/sarah-ruth-hammond/

Posted: January 12, 2012
Tagged: In Memoriam


John Morton Blum, 1921-2011

John Morton Blum, Sterling Professor of History Emeritus at Yale University, died at his home in North Branford, Connecticut on October 17, 2011 at the age of ninety. A preeminent scholar of American politics and culture during the second half of the twentieth century, Blum was born on April 29, 1921 in New York City. A Yankee fan from his early youth, Blum followed the Bronx Bombers, the NFL Giants, and Yale football with equal gusto. He was educated at Andover and at Harvard, from which he received his Ph.D in 1950. He was a co-editor of the Letters of Theodore Roosevelt (1951—1954). Blum taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1949 to 1957 and at Yale from 1957 to 1991. Among his thirteen books, The Republican Roosevelt (1954) and V was for Victory (1976) had the widest influence, but his three—volume work From the Morgenthau Diaries (1959—1967) displayed the extensive range of his talents. His memoir A Life with History (2004) traced the many accomplishments of his career as author, scholar, and administrator in lucid and revealing prose. He was a gifted undergraduate lecturer whose recreation of Theodore Roosevelt at Kettle Hill became a classic experience for his student listeners. He was also a superb mentor to his many graduate students and friends within the historical profession. A memorial service at Yale University on November 11, 2011 brought more than 500 people together to honor his rich life, his vibrant personality, and his outstanding scholarly accomplishments. He lineis survived by Pamela Z. Blum (pzb23@comcast.net) of 88 Notch Hill Road, #176, North Branford, CT, 06471, their three children and three grandchildren. Memorial contributions may be made to the John Morton Blum Fellowship in American History at Yale University or to the scholarship fund of your choice at any university.

Lewis L. Gould

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Posted: December 15, 2011
Tagged: In Memoriam


David Montgomery 1927-2011

The Organization of American Historians notes with sadness the passing of OAH Past President David Montgomery, Farnam Professor of History emeritus at Yale University, on December 2, 2011. Montgomery was 84 years of age.

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Posted: December 6, 2011
Tagged: In Memoriam


Allen William Trelease, 1928-2011

Posted: November 30, 2011
Tagged: In Memoriam


Nancy Imlay Chard 1933-2010

More information is available at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/rutlandherald/obituary.aspx?n=nancy-chard&pid=139844380&fhid=4763

Posted: November 7, 2011
Tagged: In Memoriam


William S. Hanable, 1938-2011

Posted: October 4, 2011
Tagged: In Memoriam


Robert W. Johannsen, 1925-2011

Robert W. Johannsen, J. G. Randall Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Illinois, died in Urbana, Illinois, on August 16, 2011, six days shy of his 86th birthday.

Best known for Stephen A. Douglas (1973), his biography of the Little Giant, Johannsen also wrote extensively on Lincoln, the Pacific Northwest in the frontier period, and the U.S.-Mexican War.

A native of Portland, Oregon, Johannsen graduated from Reed College in 1948, after his studies were interrupted by combat service in World War II. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Washington. After teaching a year at Washington and five years at the University of Kansas, he joined the Department of History at Illinois in 1959.

He attracted hundreds of students to his courses on nineteenth-century American history, the Jacksonian era and the Civil War. He also directed more than 35 dissertations.

In his writings, he endeavored to document the importance of Douglas in his own day. He sought to explain, not to defend, the Little Giant. Conversely, he attempted to moderate the popular, and even the professional, tendency to magnify Lincoln, to lift him beyond his own time and place.

Johannsen published not only a number of books and anthologies but also dozens of articles and reviews. The list of his writings in Politics and Culture of the Civil War Era: Essays in Honor of Robert W. Johannsen (2006) runs to 20 pages.

Johannsen was deeply committed to the study of the past and devoted beyond measure to teaching it. Those fortunate to have known him will always cherish the gentleness, warmth, and civility that pervaded his conversation and demeanor.

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Posted: August 26, 2011
Tagged: In Memoriam