Famous American Historians

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 1 
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
(Literary Critic and Scholar Who Became Popular for His Pioneering Theories of African and African-American Literature)
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
7
Birthdate: September 16, 1950
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Keyser, West Virginia, United States

Henry Louis Gates Jr. is an American literary critic, historian, professor, filmmaker, and public intellectual. He is currently serving as the director of the Hutchins Center at Harvard University. Over the years Gates has been honored with several prestigious awards including the National Humanities Medal. In 1997, he was named in Time magazine's 25 Most Influential Americans list.

 2 
Joe Medicine Crow
(Native American Writer, Historian and War Chief of the Crow Nation)
Joe Medicine Crow
6
Birthdate: October 27, 1913
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Lodge Grass, Montana, United States
Died: April 3, 2016

The last Crow war chief, Dr. Joseph Medicine Crow was part of the Whistling Water clan of Native Americans. The legendary indigenous hero was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. A published historian, too, he is remembered for his research on the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

 3 
Peter Weller
(Actor and Director)
Peter Weller
7
Birthdate: June 24, 1947
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Stevens Point, Wisconsin, United States
Peter Weller is best known as Robocop from the film RoboCop and its sequel. He also earned an Academy Award nomination for his 1993 short film Partners. He starred in the series 24, hosted a History Channel show, and voiced Bruce Wayne/Batman in the miniseries The Dark Knight Returns.
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 4 
Victor Davis Hanson
(One of America’s Best Known and Most Prolific Historians)
Victor Davis Hanson
8
Birthdate: September 5, 1953
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fowler, California, United States

Historian and academic Victor Davis Hanson is best known for his opinions on warfare and politics in publications such as The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. He teaches at the California State University and Stanford's Hoover Institution. His academic interests include military history and classics.

 5 
David McCullough
(American Historian & Author)
David McCullough
4
Birthdate: July 7, 1933
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Died: August 7, 2022

David McCullough was an American historian, author, narrator, and lecturer. Over the course of his illustrious career, McCullough received two National Book Awards, two Pulitzer Prizes, and two Francis Parkman Prizes among other prestigious awards. In 2006, he was honored with America's highest civilian award, the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He also received over 40 honorary degrees.

 6 
Shelby Foote
(Writer)
Shelby Foote
5
Birthdate: November 17, 1916
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Greenville, Mississippi, United States
Died: June 27, 2005
 7 
Stephen Jay Gould
(Paleontologist and Evolutionary Biologist Known for His 'Theory of Punctuated Equilibrium' & Book ‘The Mismeasure of Man’)
Stephen Jay Gould
5
Birthdate: September 10, 1941
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bayside, New York, United States
Died: May 20, 2002

Stephen Jay Gould was an American evolutionary biologist, paleontologist, and historian of science. One of the most widely read and influential authors of popular science, Gould was named a Living Legend in April 2000 by the US Library of Congress. He is also counted among the most frequently cited scientists, as far as evolutionary theory is concerned.

 8 
Robert Osborne
(Actor, Television actor, Biographer, Film actor, Historian, Journalist, Screenwriter, Cinematographer, Film producer)
Robert Osborne
7
Birthdate: May 3, 1932
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Colfax
Died: March 6, 2017

Best known for his over two-decade-long stint as a Turner Classic Movies host, Robert Osborne also gained fame for his penning The Official History of the Academy Awards and the National Film Book Award-winning 50 Golden Years of Oscar. A qualified journalist, he also wrote columns for The Hollywood Reporter.

 9 
Howard Zinn
(American Historian, Playwright, Philosopher and World War II Veteran)
Howard Zinn
12
Birthdate: August 24, 1922
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: January 27, 2010

Born into a Jewish working-class, immigrant family in Brooklyn, Howard Zinn was initially dragged into communism. He was part of the U.S. Army during World War II and later established himself as a historian. Of his many books, the most popular has been A People's History of the United States.

 10 
George McGovern
(United States Senator from South Dakota (1963 - 1981))
George McGovern
10
Birthdate: July 19, 1922
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Avon, South Dakota, United States
Died: October 21, 2012

Historian George McGovern had been the U.S. senator from South Dakota. He held important positions related to food, agriculture, and nutrition, too, and was named a World Food Prize laureate for his efforts in reducing world hunger. He had also advocated for the end of the Vietnam War.

 11 
Carter Woodson
(Historian)
Carter Woodson
5
Birthdate: December 19, 1875
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New Canton, Virginia, United States
Died: April 3, 1950

Historian Carter Woodson was is remembered for pioneering Black studies in schools and colleges. He began the Negro History Week, which is now celebrated as the Black History Month. Poverty had pushed him to work in the coal mines initially, and he couldn’t join high school before 20.

 12 
Lola Van Wagenen
(Historian and Co-Founder of ‘Consumer Action Now’)
Lola Van Wagenen
9
Birthdate: 1938
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Provo, Utah, United States

Lola Van Wagenen is an American historian who is credited with co-founding non-profit educational organizations like Consumer Action Now (CAN) and Clio Visualizing History, Inc. Consumer Action Now went on to establish several environmental education and consumer-oriented programs in an attempt to raise awareness about the effects of consumers' buying habits on the environment.

 13 
Jon Meacham
(Writer, Reviewer, Historian and Presidential Biographer)
Jon Meacham
4
Birthdate: May 20, 1969
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chattanooga, Tennessee, United States

Jon Meacham is an American historian, writer, reviewer, and presidential biographer. Over the years Meacham has contributed to popular publications like The New York Times, Time, and Newsweek. In 2009, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his work American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. He has also received honorary doctorates from many universities including the University of Tennessee.

 14 
Sarah Vowell
(Author of Seven Nonfiction Books on American History and Culture)
Sarah Vowell
8
Birthdate: December 27, 1969
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Muskogee, Oklahoma, United States

Bestselling author and essayist Sarah Vowell is known for her expertise in American history and her books such as Assassination Vacation and Unfamiliar Fishes. She is also a regular on the radio program This American Life and has voiced Violet in the animated film The Incredibles.

 15 
Will Durant
(American Writer Best Known for His Work 'The Story of Civilization')
Will Durant
7
Birthdate: November 5, 1885
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: North Adams, Massachusetts, United States
Died: November 7, 1981

Will Durant was an American writer, philosopher, and historian. He is credited with writing The Story of Philosophy which helped popularize philosophy in the USA. Will is also remembered for co-writing an 11-volume set of books titled The Story of Civilization along with his wife Ariel. Will and Ariel were awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

 16 
Timothy D. Snyder
(American Historian Who is Specializing in the Modern History of Central and Eastern Europe)
Timothy D. Snyder
4
Birthdate: August 18, 1969
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ohio, United States

Historian and Yale professor Timothy D. Snyder has penned countless books, including bestsellers such as Bloodlands and On Tyranny. His themes include Marxism and Soviet and Nazi atrocities. A Harvard scholar and a Carnegie fellow, he is also part of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Committee on Conscience.

 17 
Murray Bookchin
(American Social Theorist, Author and Political Philosopher)
Murray Bookchin
5
Birthdate: January 14, 1921
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York, United States
Died: July 30, 2006

Murray Bookchin, also known by his pseudonyms M.S. Shiloh and Lewis Herber, was an anarchist, a political philosopher, and an academic, best known for his fight against capitalism. The son of Russian immigrants, he followed communism since age 9. He had also penned books such as The Ecology of Freedom.

 18 
Stephen E. Ambrose
(Historian Known for His Biographies of U.S. Presidents 'Dwight D. Eisenhower' and 'Richard Nixon')
Stephen E. Ambrose
7
Birthdate: January 10, 1936
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Decatur, United States
Died: October 13, 2002

Stephen Edward Ambrose was an American biographer and historian. A respected figure, Ambrose was honored with several prestigious awards during his lifetime. In 1998, he was honored with the National Humanities Medal. The same year, he also won the Golden Plate Award as well as the Samuel Eliot Morison Prize. In 2001, he received the Theodore Roosevelt Medal.

 19 
Henry Cabot Lodge
(United States Senator from Massachusetts (1893-1924))
Henry Cabot Lodge
5
Birthdate: May 12, 1850
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Beverly, Massachusetts, United States
Died: November 9, 1924
 20 
Anne Applebaum
(Polish-American Journalist and Historian Known for Writing on Former Soviet Union and Its Satellite Countries)
Anne Applebaum
7
Birthdate: July 25, 1964
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States

Anne Applebaum is best known for her Pulitzer Prize-winning book Gulag, which described the Soviet concentration camps. The American historian and journalist has worked for The Economist and The Spectator and now writes for The Atlantic. The mother of two now lives in Poland with her politician husband, Radek Sikorski.

 21 
Doris Kearns Goodwin
(American Biographer and Historian)
Doris Kearns Goodwin
13
Birthdate: January 4, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: New York City, United States

Doris Kearns Goodwin is an American historian, biographer, and former sports journalist. She is best known for writing presidential biographies, including Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln and The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga. In 1995, she won the Pulitzer Prize for History for her book No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt.

 22 
Eric Foner
(American Historian)
Eric Foner
5
Birthdate: February 7, 1943
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City, United States

Historian and Columbia professor Eric Foner specializes in American history. He is best known for his countless books, including Reconstruction: America’s Unfinished Revolution and the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Fiery Trial. He has won the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching and is part of the American Philosophical Society.

 23 
Hiram Bingham III
(American Academic, Explorer and Politician)
Hiram Bingham III
4
Birthdate: November 19, 1875
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Honolulu, Hawaii, United States
Died: June 6, 1956

Best known for his research on the Machu Picchu in the Peruvian Andes, American archaeologist Hiram Bingham III had learned mountaineering from his missionary father. Though not a professional archaeologist, he ventured into exploration after gaining an interest in South America while teaching South American history at Yale.

 24 
Archibald Gracie IV
(American Historian, Writer and Investor)
Archibald Gracie IV
4
Birthdate: January 15, 1858
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Mobile, Alabama, United States
Died: December 4, 1912

Best known as the author of The Truth About The Titanic (currently Titanic: A Survivor's Story), Archibald Gracie IV was one of the few who survived the sinking of RMS Titanic. Beginning his career as colonel of the 7th New York Militia, he later became a real estate agent, concurrently carrying out researches on history, particularly the Battle of Chickamauga.

 25 
Studs Terkel
(Journalist, Historian, Radio personality, Writer, Poet lawyer, Music journalist)
Studs Terkel
6
Birthdate: May 16, 1912
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City
Died: October 31, 2008

Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Studs Terkel is remembered for his contribution to American history and for his book The Good War. Initially aspiring to be a lawyer, he later became a radio actor. He also interviewed people for his show Studs’s Place and published bestselling oral histories such as Division Street.

 26 
Joseph L. Galloway
(Journalist, Historian)
Joseph L. Galloway
4
Birthdate: November 13, 1941
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Refugio

One of America’s best war and foreign correspondents, Joseph L. Galloway specializes in the history of the Vietnam War. He won a Bronze Star Medal for rescuing wounded army men in the Ia Drang Valley, during the Vietnam War. His bestselling memoir, We Were Soldiers, was later turned into a film.

 27 
Henry Adams
(Historian Known for His Work 'The History of the United States of America 1801–1817')
Henry Adams
4
Birthdate: February 16, 1838
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: March 27, 1918

Historian Henry Adams was part of the famous Adams political family of the U.S and a typical Boston Brahmin elite. His best-known work remains his posthumously published autobiography, The Education of Henry Adams, which won a Pulitzer Prize. He also taught medieval history at Harvard.

 28 
Frederick Jackson Turner
(American Historian During the Early 20th Century)
Frederick Jackson Turner
4
Birthdate: November 14, 1861
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Portage, Wisconsin, United States
Died: March 14, 1932

Frederick Jackson Turner was an American historian who was closely associated with the University of Wisconsin as well as Harvard University. Turner is credited with training and mentoring several PhDs who went on to become respected historians in their own right. Best remembered for his Frontier Thesis, Frederick Jackson Turner had a strong influence on historians, novelists, and filmmakers.

 29 
Caleb Carr
(Military Historian and Novelist)
Caleb Carr
4
Birthdate: August 2, 1955
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States

Born to leading Beat generation figure Lucien Carr, Caleb Carr is a renowned military historian and author, with books such as the international bestseller The Alienist, one of his Kreizler series novels, to his credit. He also contributes to MHQ: The Quarterly Journal of Military History.

 30 
Winston F. Groom, Jr.
(American Author)
Winston F. Groom, Jr.
4
Birthdate: March 23, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: September 17, 2020
 31 
Vincent Barrett Price
Vincent Barrett Price
4
Birthdate: August 30, 1940
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Los Angeles

 An American educator, editor, poet, environmental and human rights columnist, Vincent Barrett Price is known to don many robes. A prolific writer, he has so far nineteen books to his credit and his works have been published in more than seventy national and international publications. Formerly associated with many established journals, he is also the cofounder of New Mexico Mercury.  

 32 
Barbara W. Tuchman
(American Historian and Author)
Barbara W. Tuchman
5
Birthdate: January 30, 1912
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: February 6, 1989

Barbara Tuchman was an American author and historian whose best-selling book The Guns of August (1962) earned her the prestigious Pulitzer Prize. Tuchman won her second Pulitzer Prize for writing a biography of General Joseph Stilwell titled Stilwell and the American Experience in China (1971).

 33 
James M. McPherson
(Historian, University teacher, Writer)
James M. McPherson
3
Birthdate: October 11, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Valley City

James M. McPherson is an American historian who serves as a professor at Princeton University. Well-known for his activism, McPherson spoke against the construction of a theme park near Manassas battlefield. A Civil War historian, McPherson won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for his work, Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era, in 1989.

 34 
Russell Kirk
(Political scientist, Philosopher, Literary critic, Historian, Novelist, Writer, Science fiction writer, Journalist)
Russell Kirk
4
Birthdate: October 19, 1918
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Plymouth
Died: April 29, 1994

Russell Kirk was an American historian, moralist, political theorist, literary and social critic. He is best remembered for his strong influence on 20th-century conservatism in the United States. He is credited with writing The Conservative Mind, which shaped America's postwar conservative movement. Russell Kirk was widely regarded as the leading advocate of traditionalist conservatism.

 35 
David Halberstam
(Historian, Writer, Journalist)
David Halberstam
6
Birthdate: April 10, 1934
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: New York City
Died: April 23, 2007

Journalist and historian David Halberstam is known for his works in areas as diverse as the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, and American sports and culture. The Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter had worked with The New York Times. He later died in a car crash.

 36 
Michael Parenti
(American Political Scientist and Historian Known for His Marxist Writings and Lectures)
Michael Parenti
4
Birthdate: September 30, 1933
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

Political scientist, historian, and critic Michael Parenti is best known for being a staunch critic of capitalism and America’s foreign policy. The Yale alumnus taught political and social science at various institutes, before becoming a full-time writer and speaker. He is the father of journalist Christian Parenti.

 37 
Bernard Lewis
(Historian)
Bernard Lewis
4
Birthdate: May 31, 1916
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
Died: May 19, 2018
 38 
William L. Shirer
(Journalist, Historian, Writer)
William L. Shirer
6
Birthdate: February 23, 1904
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Chicago
Died: December 28, 1993

War correspondent and journalist William L. Shirer is best remembered for his National Book Award-winning book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich. He had worked for publications such as The Chicago Tribune and had also written extensively on Gandhi and the Third Republic of France.

 39 
Stephen F. Cohen
(Historian, Editor)
Stephen F. Cohen
5
Birthdate: November 25, 1938
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Indianapolis, Indiana, United States
Died: September 18, 2020
 40 
John Henrik Clarke
(African-American Historian, Professor and Pioneer in the Creation of Pan-African and Africana Studies)
John Henrik Clarke
3
Birthdate: January 1, 1915
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Union Springs, Alabama, United States
Died: July 16, 1998

John Henrik Clarke was an American professor and historian who helped create Pan-African and Africana studies. Clarke is credited with founding the African Heritage Studies Association, a subsidiary of the African Studies Association. He was also a founding member of many other organizations created to support work in black culture.

 41 
Aviva Chomsky
(Historian, University teacher)
Aviva Chomsky
8
Birthdate: April 20, 1957
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Boston

Born to linguists Noam and Carol Chomsky, Aviva Chomsky is equipped with degrees in Spanish and Portuguese and is an expert in labor and social movements. The author of books such as Undocumented: How Immigration Became Illegal, she teaches history and co-ordinates Latin American Studies at the Salem State University.

 42 
Christopher Lasch
(Historian, Social critic, Writer, Sociologist, Journalist)
Christopher Lasch
3
Birthdate: June 1, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Omaha
Died: February 14, 1994

Christopher Lasch was an American historian, social critic, and moralist. He served as a professor at the University of Rochester. Christopher Lasch is best remembered for his books that aimed at using history as a tool to help Americans realize the independence and competence of families and communities. His best-selling book The Culture of Narcissism won the National Book Award.

 43 
Immanuel Wallerstein
(American Sociologist and Economic Historian)
Immanuel Wallerstein
4
Birthdate: September 28, 1930
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: August 31, 2019

Sociologist, author, and economic historian Immanuel Wallerstein is best remembered for his iconic work The Modern World System, which was the first volume of his world-system theory. He was a Yale researcher and had first been driven to understand world history when he read up about the anticolonial movement in India.

 44 
Gertrude Himmelfarb
(Historian)
Gertrude Himmelfarb
3
Birthdate: August 8, 1922
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: December 30, 2019
 45 
Richard Hofstadter
(American Historian and Public Intellectual)
Richard Hofstadter
4
Birthdate: August 6, 1916
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York, United States
Died: October 24, 1970

Richard Hofstadter was an American intellectual and historian who served as a professor at Columbia University. Hofstadter mentored Eric Foner and Paula S. Fass, who became respected historians in their own right. In 1956, Hofstadter won the prestigious Pulitzer Prize for his work The Age of Reform. In 1964, he received his second Pulitzer Prize for Anti-intellectualism in American Life.

 46 
Jill Lepore
(Historian)
Jill Lepore
5
Birthdate: August 27, 1966
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: West Boylston, Massachusetts, United States

Jill Lepore is an American journalist and historian who is currently teaching American History at Harvard University. She has also been an important contributor to The New Yorker, writing about American history, literature, law, and politics since 2005. Over the years her work has earned her prestigious awards, such as the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award and American History Book Prize.

 47 
Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr.
5
Birthdate: October 15, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Columbus, Ohio, United States
Died: February 28, 2007
 48 
Lewis Mumford
(American Historian, Sociologist, Philosopher and Literary Critic)
Lewis Mumford
4
Birthdate: October 19, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Flushing, New York, United States
Died: January 26, 1990

Lewis Mumford was an American sociologist, historian, literary critic, and philosopher of technology. He made significant contributions to American literary and cultural history, social philosophy, and the history of technology. His works also influenced a number of thinkers and authors like Jacques Ellul and Amory Lovins. Lewis Mumford also had a strong influence on American cellular biologist Barry Commoner.

 49 
Michael Eric Dyson
(Historian, Biographer)
Michael Eric Dyson
5
Birthdate: October 23, 1958
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Detroit

Michael Eric Dyson is an American author, academic, radio host, and ordained minister. He is currently serving as a professor at Vanderbilt University and in the College of Arts and Science. Over the course of his illustrious career, Dyson has received a couple of NAACP Image Awards as well as an American Book Award for his skills as a writer.

 50 
Allan Lichtman
(Historian)
Allan Lichtman
4
Birthdate: April 4, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brownsville, New York, United States

Best known for creating a key system that can be used for predicting the outcome of the US presidential elections, Allan Jay Lichtman is a celebrated historian and an influential geopolitical expert.  Also a renowned author known for works like The Keys to the White House, he has also been an expert witness in numerous civil and voting rights cases