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date: 23 September 2020

Dunning, William Archibaldlocked

(12 May 1857–25 August 1922)
  • Mark C. Smith


Dunning, William Archibald (12 May 1857–25 August 1922), historian and political scientist, was born in Plainfield, New Jersey, the son of John H. Dunning, a successful carriage manufacturer, and Catherine D. Trelease. John Dunning, a painter and connoisseur of art as well as a businessman, inspired his son’s love of learning and began himself to study classical Greek at the age of seventy-eight. The young William, known for his wit and wry sense of humor in his later career, was in constant disciplinary trouble and was expelled from Dartmouth in 1877 for his participation in pranks. He entered Columbia College in 1878, received his B.A. in 1881, M.A. in 1884, and Ph.D. in 1885. After a year abroad studying under Heinrich von Treitschke in Berlin, Dunning returned to Columbia, where he quickly moved up the academic ladder to full professor. In 1904 he received an LL.D. from Columbia, and he became, probably in 1903, the Francis Lieber Professor of History and Political Philosophy, a position he held until his death. He married Charlotte E. Loomis in 1888; they had no children....

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