Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book


Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  David Herbert Donald  

Pen Name: None

Genre: C:ADULT History

Born: 1920 in Goodman, Mississippi

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Illinois Connection

David Herbert Donald earned his masters degree in History in 1942 and his PhD in 1946 at the University of Illinois.

Biographical and Professional Information

Majoring in history and sociology, Donald earned his bachelor degree from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He earned his PhD in 1946 under the eminent, leading Lincoln scholar, James G. Randall at the University of Illinois. Randall as a mentor had a big influence on Donald's life and career, and encouraged his protege to write his dissertation on Lincoln's law partner, William Herndon. The dissertation eventually became his first book, Lincoln's Herndon, published in 1948. The effect Randall had on Donald was later illustrated by the fact that he gave his only son the middle name Randall in honor of his former mentor. After graduating, he taught at Columbia University, Johns Hopkins and, from 1973, Harvard University. He also taught at Smith College, the University of North Wales, Princeton University, University College London and served as Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University. At Johns Hopkins, Columbia, and Harvard he trained dozens of g raduate students including Jean H. Baker, William J. Cooper, Jr., Michael Holt, Irwin Unger, and Ari Hoogenboom. He received the Pulitzer Prize twice (1961 and 1988), several honorary degrees, and served as president of the Southern Historical Association.David H. Donald was the Charles Warren Professor of American History (emeritus from 1991) at Harvard University. He wrote over thirty books, including well received biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Wolfe and Charles Sumner. He specialized in the Civil War and Reconstruction periods, and in the history of the South.


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Titles At Your Library


Awards

-- *Pulitzer Prize, ''Charles Sumner and the Coming of the Civil War”'' *Pulitzer Prize, ''“Look Homeward