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Boyd, Julian Parks (03 November 1903–28 May 1980), documentary editor and historian, was born in Converse, South Carolina, the son of Robert J. Boyd, a railroad telegrapher, and Melona Parks. After graduating with a bachelor of arts degree from Duke University in 1925, he earned a master’s degree in political science from that institution in 1926 and then spent 1926–1927 as instructor and principal at Alliance High School in North Carolina; in 1927–1928 he did further graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania. In December 1927 he married Grace Wiggins Welch; the couple had one son....

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Kellogg, Louise Phelps (12 May 1862–11 July 1942), historian and documentary editor, was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the daughter of Amherst Willoughby Kellogg and Mary Isabella Phelps. Her father, active in the Methodist church and in temperance societies, worked for several insurance companies. Educated at Dearborn Seminary and the Milwaukee College (later Milwaukee-Downer College), Kellogg received a B.L. in 1897 from the University of Wisconsin....

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Knight, Lucian Lamar (09 February 1868–19 November 1933), editor, archivist, and historian, was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Confederate general George Walton Knight, a lawyer and cotton merchant, and his second wife, Clara Corinne Daniel, a teacher. Named for Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar...

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Mayer, Arthur Loeb (28 May 1886–14 April 1981), motion picture exhibitor, art film importer, and cinema historian, was born in Demopolis, Alabama, the son of Simon M. Mayer, a small-businessman, and Rachel Bernheim. Although born into an affluent German Jewish family in the South, Mayer spent most of his youth in New York City where his mother moved after his father’s death. Mayer attended private secondary schools and graduated with honors from Harvard College in 1907. An uncle introduced him to aspiring movie mogul Sam Goldfish, who hired Mayer as an assistant and trained him in motion picture publicity and ballyhoo. By the time Goldfish took the name ...

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Sparks, Jared (10 May 1789–14 March 1866), historian, editor, and clergyman, was born in Willington, Connecticut, the son of Eleanor Orcutt, who nine months later married Joseph Sparks, a farmer. His early life was somewhat unstable. In the mid-1790s he was sent to live with an aunt and uncle to relieve the burdens of the many children in the family, and with his adoptive family, he settled in 1800 in Camden, New York. In 1805 he moved home for a brief time and then went to live with another uncle in Tolland, Connecticut. There he apprenticed as carpenter and taught in local schools. Early on he displayed interests in literary and historical pursuits along with the more common interest in theology. While in Arlington, Vermont, he organized the Arlington Philosophical Society in 1808. He studied at the Philips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire, beginning in September 1809, the result of Sparks’s early interests in the ministry and his receipt of a scholarship. There he met and became lifelong friends with another future New England historian, ...

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Terkel, Studs (16 May 1912–31 Oct. 2008), oral historian, radio broadcaster, and political activist, was born Louis Terkel in the Bronx, New York. He was the third son of Samuel Terkel, a tailor, and Anna (Annie) Finkel, a seamstress, who had immigrated from Russia in ...

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Thwaites, Reuben Gold (15 May 1853–22 October 1913), historian, editor, and librarian, was born in Dorchester, Massachusetts, the son of William George Thwaites and Sarah Bibbs, farmers. Thwaites’s family had emigrated from Yorkshire, England, three years before his birth. He attended school in Dorchester and in 1866 moved with his parents to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he helped them farm, taught school, and read the equivalent of a program of college courses. He became a reporter on the ...

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Hendrik Willem van Loon, c. 1939–1941. Photograph by Louis Fabian Bachrach. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-116935).

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van Loon, Hendrik Willem (14 January 1882–11 March 1944), popular historian and writer, was born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, the son of Hendrik Willem van Loon, a jeweler, and Elisabeth Johanna Hanken. In 1890 his father moved the family to The Hague and van Loon came under the informal guardianship of his maternal uncle, Jan Hanken, a surgeon, art connoisseur, and amateur musician. Unlike his father, van Loon’s uncle encouraged the boy’s intellectual pursuits, particularly painting, music, and history. When his uncle left for the United States in 1902, van Loon followed him and enrolled at Cornell University. He graduated with a B.A. in 1905....