Sad News - Professor Bernard Bailyn LHD LittD LLD

It is with sadness that we announce that our Honorary Fellow, Professor Bernard Bailyn, died on Friday 7 August.

An eminent historian of Early America, Professor Bailyn had an extraordinary and distinguished career.  Amongst many awards and accolades he won two Pulitzer Prizes, a National Book Award, a Bancroft Prize (the most prestigious award given to scholars of American history) and, in 2011, the National Humanities Medal presented to him at the White House by President Barack Obama.  He is best known for “The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution”, published in 1967, for which he won the Pulitzer and the Bancroft Prize, and which remains on syllabuses today.  He won his second Pulitzer in 1987, for “Voyagers to the West” the first volume of a series called “The Peopling of British North America” which traces the journeys of the nearly 10,000 Britons who were known to have emigrated to America from 1773 to 1776.

His historical work centred on early American history, the American Revolution, and the Anglo-American world in the pre-industrial era.  He taught at Harvard from 1953, becoming a Professor in 1961 and the Winthrop Professor of History in 1966, a position he held until 1981, when he became the first Adams University Professor.  His work was credited for transforming the field of early American history, overturning previous interpretations of the Revolution.

He received the AB degree from Williams College in 1945, followed by the AM (1947) and PHD (1953) degrees from Harvard.  He received the first Robert H Lord Award at Emmanuel College in 1967 and was Trevelyan Lecturer (1971) and Pitt Professor of American History here in Cambridge in 1986 -1987, following which he was elected as an Honorary Fellow of Christ's College in 1988.

He often visited the College when in the UK, delighting in attending celebratory feasts, and is remembered by many for his kindness and generosity.