Historian and Benefactor James Rawley Passes Away
James A. Rawley, emeritus professor of history at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and a 50-year member of the American Historical Association, passed away Tuesday, November 29, 2005, after suffering a fall on campus. He was 89 years old.
Rawley was a generous contributor to the AHA and other historical organizations. In 1998, a gift from Rawley to the AHA established The AHA Prize in Atlantic History, which is awarded annually to recognize outstanding historical writing that explores aspects of integration of Atlantic worlds before the 20th century. He established the James A. Rawley Prize for the best book on the history of race relations at the Organization of American Historians, of which also he was a long-time member (see http://www.oah.org/pubs/nl/2005may/rawley.html for the text of an interview of Rawley conducted by Lee Formwalt, executive director of the OAH). Rawley also became a founding member of the National History Center making pledging a special contribution.
Rawley received his PhD from Columbia University (for a thesis on Edwin Morgan) and taught at Hunter College and Sweet Briar College before joining the faculty of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1964. He served there until his retirement in 1987. He acted as chair of the department for the final 10 years of his tenure. In 1986, Rawley was named the Carl Adolph Happold regent professor by the University of Nebraska Board of Regents.
Though officially retired for 18 years, Rawley continued researching, writing, and publishing. He wrote or edited nearly a dozen books in his career, including The Transatlantic Slave Trade: A History and Turning Points of the Civil War. Rawley was an expert on race, Abraham Lincoln, and the Civil War era. His last planned book on Abraham Lincoln was in final revision; it will be published posthumously by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Posted December 5, 2005
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