In Memoriam

Louis Rudolph Harlan (1922-2010)

Louis R. Harlan, the white southern historian who was a professor of history at the University of Maryland for more than a quarter-century, has died at a nursing home in Lexington, Virginia. He was 87 years old and suffered from Crohn’s disease.

Professor Harlan was best known for his two-volume biography of Booker T. Washington. The first volume, published in 1972, won the Bancroft Prize for the best book in American history. The second volume, which was released in 1983 and covered Washington’s years at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, also won the Bancroft Prize as well as the Pulitzer Prize. Dr. Harlan was also the editor of the 14-volume Booker T. Washington Papers, published between 1972 and 1988.

Harlan was born in West Point, Mississippi, but spent most of his youth in Decatur, Georgia. In 1943 he graduated from Emory University where he was a member of the swimming team. After serving as a naval officer during World War II, Harlan earned a master’s degree in history at Vanderbilt University. As a graduate student he met John Hope Franklin, who was then teaching at Howard University. Dr. Franklin urged Harlan to study the history of race relations in the South. Harlan later earned a Ph.D. in history at Johns Hopkins University where his adviser was the eminent southern historian C. Vann Woodward.

Harlan taught at East Texas State College in Commerce and the University of Cincinnati before joining the University of Maryland faculty in 1965. In 1985 he was elevated to the position of distinguished university professor, the highest faculty rank at the University of Maryland.

Dr. Harlan retired from teaching in 1992.

Eddie V. Easley (1928-2010)

Eddie Easley, longtime professor at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, died last month at the medical center at Wake Forest University after a 15-year battle with cancer. Easley, who was the first African American hired to a tenure-track faculty position at Drake, was 81 years old.

A native of Lynchburg, Virginia, Professor Easley earned a bachelor’s degree at Virginia Union University in Richmond. He held a master’s and Ph.D. in economics from Iowa State University.

Dr. Easley joined the Drake faculty in 1957. He served as chair of the marketing department from 1966 to 1984. After 26 years at Drake, Easley joined the faculty at the Calloway School of Business and Accountancy at Wake Forest University. He retired from teaching full-time in 1999.