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 ( 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

Posted: December 15, 2011
Tagged: In Memoriam