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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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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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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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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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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....

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Fay, Sidney Bradshaw (13 April 1876–29 August 1967), historian and educator, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Edward Allen Fay, a professor and vice president of Gallaudet College, and Mary Bradshaw. Fay majored in history at Harvard University, where he received a B.A. in 1896 and an M.A. in 1897. After two years of study in Europe the Sorbonne and the University of Berlin, he received a Ph.D. from Harvard in 1900. He was then appointed European history teaching fellow at Harvard from 1900 to 1902. He married Sarah Proctor in 1904; they had three children....

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Fish, Carl Russell (17 October 1876–10 July 1932), historian and university professor, was born in Central Falls, Rhode Island, the son of Frederick Elihu Fish and Louisiana Nixon Oliver. His father died when Fish was thirteen, and the family soon moved south to Providence to live with Carl’s married sister, Jeanne Oliver Arnold. After attending the public schools of Providence, he entered Brown University, intending to major in the classics. However, the influence of ...

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Folwell, William Watts (14 February 1833–18 September 1929), historian and educator, was born in Romulus, Seneca County, New York, the son of Thomas Jefferson Folwell and Joanna Bainbridge, farmers. After receiving his early education in local district schools, he entered the Nunda Literary Institute in Nunda, New York, in the fall of 1848. He remained in Nunda for two years before moving to Geneva, New York, where he attended two different academies and continued to spend his summers doing farm work. Financial reverses suffered by his family ended his studies at Geneva after a year, and he spent the next two years teaching in district schools. He then completed his preparatory education at the academy in Ovid, New York, before entering the sophomore class at Hobart College in Geneva in the fall of 1854....

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Galbreath, Charles Burleigh (25 February 1858–23 February 1934), librarian, historian, and teacher, was born on a farm in Columbiana County, Ohio, near the town of Leetonia, the son of Edward Paxson Galbreath and Jane Minerva Shaw. His parents were Quakers of Scotch-Irish heritage who moved to Ohio from North Carolina due to their antislavery stand. They instilled in their son an appreciation and interest in the antislavery cause that probably influenced his research on ...

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Gatzke, Hans Wilhelm (10 December 1915–11 October 1987), historian and university professor, was born in Dülken, Germany, the son of Wilhelm Gatzke, a silk manufacturer, and Else Schwab. Orphaned by the age of seven, he lived with relatives and the parents of friends. Upon completing secondary schooling in Wuppertal, he received a stipend from the German Exchange Service to study in 1934–1935 at Williams College, where he developed an affinity for life in America. Although urged by teachers and friends at Williams to remain, he honored the terms of his grant and returned to Germany, where he studied law first at Munich and then at Bonn. He could not conceal his lack of enthusiasm for the Nazi regime, however, and fell out of favor with authorities to such an extent that his lodging was searched and he was called upon by the Exchange Service to give an account of himself....

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Goldman, Eric (17 June 1915–19 February 1989), historian, author, educator, and presidential adviser, was born Eric Frederick Goldman in Washington, D.C., the son of Harry Goldman, a fruit and vegetable store owner and cabdriver, and Bessie Chapman. Goldman’s parents divorced when he was very young, and he was raised mainly by his father. He attended public school in Baltimore but held out no hope of ever attending college because of his father’s poor financial situation. On graduation from high school in 1931, however, he was awarded a scholarship and decided to enroll at Johns Hopkins University. Goldman moved on to graduate work at Johns Hopkins without ever completing the undergraduate program. He received an M.A. in American history in 1935 and a Ph.D. in the same subject in 1938, earning the latter degree at twenty-two years of age....