Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Robert Pruter  

Pen Name: None

Genre: History Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1944 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

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Illinois Connection

Pruter has lived in the Chicago area since 1951 when his family moved to Berwyn, Illinois. He is a 1962 graduate of Proviso East High School, Maywood, Illinois. He received a BA degree in history at Roosevelt University in 1967, a an MA degree in history with honors at Roosevelt University in 1976, and an MLIS degree from Dominican University in 2000. He currently resides in Elmhurst, Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Pruter is a freelance researcher and writer, his work having been motivated by a lifelong love both for the history of sports and for the history of African-American music as they relate to his hometown of Chicago. He was an encyclopedia editor in the social sciences for more than 27 years, from 1968 to 1996, at ''New Standard Encyclopedia''. Since 2001, he has been reference and government documents librarian at Lewis University Library in Romeoville, Illinois. He also served as the rhythm-and-blues editor for ''Goldmine'' magazine from 1985 to 2006.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

Chicago Soul (Music in American Life)
ISBN: 0252062590

University of Illinois Press. 1992

Original publication and copyright date: 1991.

Doowop: THE CHICAGO SCENE (Music in American Life)
ISBN: 0252065069

University of Illinois Press. 1997

Explores the origins and artists of the early rock'n'roll form that originated with the teen culture on the streets of Chicago

The Rise of American High School Sports and the Search for Control: 1880-1930 (Sports and Entertainment)
ISBN: 0815633149

Syracuse University Press. 2013

Nearly half of all American high school students participate in sports teams. With a total of 7.6 million participants as of 2008, this makes the high school sports program in America the largest organized sports program in the world. Pruter’s work traces the history of high school sports from the student-led athletic clubs of the 1800s through to the establishment of educator control of high school sports under a national federation by the 1930s. Pruter’s research serves not only to highlight this rich history but also to provide new perspectives on how high school sports became the arena by which Americans fought for some of the most contentious issues in society, such as race, immigration and Americanization, gender roles, religious conflict, the role of the military in democracy, and the commercial exploitation of our youth.


Award for Excellence in Historical Sound Research

from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections, 1992 for ''Chicago Soul.''

Certificate of Excellence

for scholarly works from the Illinois State Historical Society, 1992, for ''Chicago Soul.''

Award for Excellence in Historical Sound Research

from the Association for Recorded Sound Collections, 1996, for ''Doowop

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability (Yes)