Rhys Isaac, only Australian to win Pulitzer for history dies at 72

Historians in the News

RHYS Isaac, the first and only Australian to receive the prestigious American Pulitzer prize for history, has died of advanced melanoma at his home in Blairgowrie on the Mornington Peninsula. He was 72.

Isaac was awarded the Pulitzer in 1983 for his seminal book The Transformation of Virginia, in which he expounded methods used to understand radical changes in both blacks and whites in colonial plantation culture that had traded a king for a constitution and bill of rights.

Rhys's academic achievement was perhaps not as big a surprise as his arrival: his parents weren't expecting twins because only one heartbeat had ever been detected.

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