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Adams, Herbert Baxter (16 April 1850–30 July 1901), historian and educator, was born in Shutesbury, Massachusetts, the son of Nathaniel Dickinson Adams, a lumber merchant, and Harriet Hastings. Adams’s father died when the boy was six; as a result the family moved to nearby Amherst where his mother had relatives. There he attended local schools and later Phillips Exeter Academy....

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Beckwith, Martha Warren (19 January 1871–28 January 1959), educator, folklorist, and ethnographer, was born in Wellesley Heights, Massachusetts, the daughter of George Ely Beckwith and Harriet Winslowe Goodale, schoolteachers. Beckwith was the grandniece of Lucy Goodale Thurston, one of the first company of Congregational missionaries to the island of Hawaii, and Beckwith’s father had spent sixteen years in Hawaii before she was born, working as a missionary and a teacher, and then as manager of a sugar plantation. In 1874 the Beckwiths moved back to Hawaii. There Beckwith was introduced to the “cousins” society, a group formed by the descendants of the early missionaries, most of whom had intermarried, producing an intricate web of family relations. Beckwith was adopted immediately into the cousins society, through which she developed an interest in their history and in the legends and culture of early Hawaii....

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Boswell, John Eastburn (20 March 1947–24 December 1994), educator, historian, and author, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of Henry Boswell, Jr., a U.S. Army officer, and Catherine Eastburn. He traveled around the world with his parents before settling with them in Petersburg, Virginia. He attended the College of William and Mary, receiving his A.B. in 1969. He did graduate work at Harvard, earning his M.A. in 1971 and his Ph.D. in 1975. His life thereafter was devoted to teaching, research (often supported by grants, including a Woodrow Wilson fellowship and a Fulbright scholarship), and writing scholarly publications....

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Brickman, William Wolfgang (30 June 1913–22 June 1986), scholar of the history of education and of comparative education, was born in New York City, the son of David Shalom Brickman, a cutter in the clothing industry, and Chaya Sarah Shaber. After attending Jewish religious elementary and secondary schools in New York City, Brickman entered the City College of New York, where he earned a B.A. in education in 1934 and an M.S. in education in 1935. He received a Ph.D. in education, with a dissertation on Hermann Lietz, an early twentieth-century German educational reformer, from New York University (NYU) in 1938....

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Brinton, Clarence Crane (02 February 1898–07 September 1968), historian and educator, was born in Winsted, Connecticut, the son of Clarence Hawthorne Brinton, a department-store buyer, and Eva Crane. He was educated at Harvard University, receiving his B.A. summa cum laude in 1919, and a Rhodes Scholarship in 1919 enabled him to study at Oxford University, where he earned a D.Phil. in 1923. His teaching career was spent solely at Harvard, beginning as an instructor in 1923 and rising through the academic ranks to professor in 1942. From 1942 to 1968 he was McLean Professor of Ancient and Modern History. Brinton married Cecilia Washburn Roberts, a psychologist, in 1946; they had no children....

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Burr, George Lincoln (30 January 1857–27 June 1938), librarian, historian, and educator, was born in Oramel, New York, the son of William Josiah Burr, a physician, and Jane Lincoln. Educated in the public schools of Newark Valley and the Cortland Academy, Burr worked as a printer to pay for his schooling. In 1877 he entered Cornell University, where he received his A.B. four years later. Upon graduation, thanks to the friendship shown by Cornell president ...

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Campbell, Joseph (26 March 1904–30 October 1987), teacher and author, was born in New York City, the son of Charles William Campbell, a businessman, and Josephine Lynch. Raised a Roman Catholic, Campbell as a boy was attracted to Native American art and culture and read Indian historical and ethnographic literature while still in grade school. After a year at Dartmouth, he went to Columbia (B.A., 1925), where he studied literature and became a track star. He remained at Columbia for two more years, earning an M.A. in 1927 with a thesis on medieval Arthurian literature. Planning to pursue his Ph.D., he accepted a two-year fellowship to study Old French and Provençal at the University of Paris (1927–1928) and Sanskrit and Oriental philosophy at the University of Munich (1928–1929)....

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Clebsch, William Anthony (19 July 1923–12 June 1984), church historian, developer of religious studies, and university professor, was born in Clarksville, Tennessee, the son of Alfred Clebsch, an owner of tobacco warehouses, and Julia Wilee. In 1944 he married Betsy Birchfield, a horticulturalist; they had two children....

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Henry Steele Commager [left to right] Henry Steele Commager and Alan Nevins, 1963. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-120403).

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Commager, Henry Steele (25 October 1902–02 March 1998), historian, educator and editor, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of James Williams Commager and Anna Elizabeth Dan Commager. Orphaned as a child, Commager was raised by his maternal grandfather, of Danish origin, in Toledo, Ohio, and Chicago, Illinois. After graduating from high school in Chicago, he attended the University of Chicago. He received a Ph.B. in 1923, an M.A. in 1924, and in 1928 a Ph.D. in history, his dissertation, unpublished, being “[Johann Friedrich von] Struensee and the Reform Movement in Denmark.” Later Commager studied at the University of Copenhagen, Cambridge University, and Oxford University. He taught American history at New York University, as instructor (1926–1929), assistant professor (1929–1930), associate professor (1930–1931), and professor (1931–1938). He then established long careers as professor at Columbia University (1939–1956) and Amherst College (1956–1972). Between 1941 and 1975 Commager, who enjoyed traveling and associating with American and foreign students, was guest professor at twenty or more universities in the United States and in Chile, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, and Trinidad. During World War II, he served in the War Department's Office of War Information (England, 1943; France and Belgium, 1945). In 1928 Commager married Evan Carroll, with whom he had three children; she died in 1968. Eleven years later, Commager married Mary E. Powlesland....

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Coulter, Ellis Merton (20 July 1890–05 July 1981), professor and historian, was born in Catawba County, North Carolina, the son of John Ellis Coulter, a farmer and businessman, and Lucy Ann Propst. He grew up in Connally Spring, North Carolina, and attended the University of North Carolina (A.B., 1913), where he majored in history and published his first historical article, “Early Life and Regulations at the University of North Carolina,” in ...

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Craven, Wesley F. (19 May 1905–10 February 1981), historian and educator, was born in Conway, North Carolina, the son of W. F. Craven, a Methodist minister, and Elizabeth Turner. Craven earned B.A. and M.A. degrees from Trinity College, Duke University, and then went on to Cornell University, where he earned a Ph.D. in history in 1928. His doctoral dissertation was titled “The Life of Robert Rich, Second Earl of Warwick, to 1642.” In 1932 he married Helen McDaniel, the daughter of Methodist missionaries to China. They would have two daughters....

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Cross, Arthur Lyon (14 November 1873–21 June 1940), historian and educator, was born in Portland, Maine, the son of Emerlous D. Cross, a tailor and merchant, and Charlotte Noyes. The family moved to Boston in 1877 and settled at Beachmont. Following his graduation from Chelsea High School, Arthur won a scholarship to Harvard College from which he was graduated with a B.A. in 1895. Originally intent on studying for the Episcopal priesthood but not being overly fond of the prospect of working with people as a pastor, he stayed on for graduate study at Harvard. He studied with the renowned historians ...

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Cubberley, Ellwood Patterson (06 June 1868–14 September 1941), educator and historian, was born in Andrews (then called Antioch), Indiana, the son of Edwin Blanchard Cubberley, a pharmacist, and Catherine Biles. His father owned a small drugstore where Cubberley, by the age of twelve, worked long hours. His father assumed that he would eventually take over the family business and prepared him accordingly. He attended public school in Andrews and in 1885 entered nearby Purdue University to study pharmacology. In the summer of 1886 he attended a lecture by ...

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Dexter, Franklin Bowditch (11 September 1842–13 August 1920), educator, librarian, and historian, was born in Fairhaven, Massachusetts, the son of Rodolphus Williams Dexter, a businessman, and Mary Hathaway Taber. He attended the Williston Seminary in preparation for Yale College, in New Haven, Connecticut, from which he graduated with an A.B. in 1861. He received an A.M. in 1864 and a Litt.D. in 1902. He taught Greek at the Collegiate and Commercial Institute in New Haven from 1861 to 1863 before returning to work at Yale....

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Dobie, James Frank (26 September 1888–18 September 1964), writer, folklorist, and educator, was born on his family’s 7,000-acre ranch in Live Oak County, Texas, the son of Jonathan Richard “R. J.” Dobie and Ella Byler. He preferred his mother’s infectious love of standard eighteenth- and nineteenth-century books to his father’s habit of reading the Bible and singing Methodist hymns. He grew up rigidly moral, attended ranch schools, and lived with his grandparents in Alice, Texas, to go to high school there (1904–1906). After earning a B.A. in 1910 at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, he worked briefly for the ...

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Dubbs, Joseph Henry (05 October 1838–01 April 1910), clergyman, educator, and historian, was born of Swiss-American parentage in rural North Whitehall Township, Lehigh County, Pennsylvania, the son of Joseph S. Dubbs, a German Reformed pastor, and Eleanor Lerch. In his mid-teenage years he enrolled at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1856. In 1859 Dubbs completed his ministerial training at the Theological Seminary of the Reformed Church at Mercersburg, which was then guided by the scholar and churchman ...

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Eliot, Samuel (22 December 1821–14 September 1898), historian and educator, was born in Boston, Massachusetts, into a well-known business and literary family, the son of William Harvard Eliot and Margaret Bradford. After graduating first in his Harvard class of 1839, Eliot worked for two years in a counting house in Boston. His weak health obliging him to abandon a business career, he traveled for four years in Europe in the first half of the 1840s. Most of the decade following his return to Massachusetts was devoted to writing, his first historical work being the short ...

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Emerton, Ephraim (18 February 1851–03 March 1935), university professor and church historian, was born in Salem, Massachusetts, the son of James Emerton, an apothecary, and Martha West. Emerton graduated from Harvard College in 1871. He worked as a reporter for the Boston Advertiser...

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Fall, Bernard B. (19 November 1926–21 February 1967), war correspondent, historian, and educator, was born in Vienna, Austria, the son of Leon Fall, a businessman, and Anna Seligman. After the German seizure of Austria in 1938, Bernard was taken to France. His parents perished during World War II—his father was executed by the Germans for resistance activity, and his mother was deported to Germany, where she disappeared. In November 1942, following the Nazi occupation of southern France, Fall joined the Resistance, fought in the Alps, and was twice wounded. During the Liberation, he enlisted in the French regular army and served for the duration of the war. He was later awarded the Medal of Liberated France for his valor....