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Pulitzer Prize-Winning Historian William H. Goetzmann Dies

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posted: Thursday September 9, 2010

AUSTIN, Texas —Historian William H. Goetzmann, professor emeritus of history and American studies, died Sept. 7 at age 79.

A specialist in the American West, Goetzmann won both the Pulitzer and Parkman prizes in 1967 for his seminal book “Exploration and Empire: The Explorer and the Scientist in the Winning of the American West.” He later authored with son William N. Goetzmann “The West of the Imagination,” which became a PBS series in 1985. His most recent book “Beyond the Revolution: A History of American Thought from Paine to Pragmatism," focuses on American intellectual, political and literary history from the United States' birth to the end of the 19th century.

Goetzmann chaired the History Department from 1968 to 1969, directed the American studies program from 1964 to 1980 and retired in 2005 as the Jack S. Blanton Chair in American Studies and History.

A native of St. Paul, Minn., Goetzmann earned his bachelor’s degree and doctorate from Yale University, where he met Tom Wolfe, who presented the Texas Book Festival's lifetime achievement award, the Bookend Award, to Goetzmann in 2001.

A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12 at St. Austin's Catholic Church, 2026 Guadalupe Street in Austin.

Visit the Departments of American Studies and History websites for more information about Dr. Goetzmann.

 

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