Colleagues remember historian Paul Boyle as ‘genuinely curious’ scholar

A former University of Wisconsin professor of American history who gained international recognition as a religious scholar died in Madison on Saturday at the age of 76 after a short bout with cancer.

Paul Boyle was UW Merle Curti Chair Emeritus in American history. His work centered on religion and its impact on American life. He published a number of books on American history, including on the Salem witch trials of the 17th century and American culture in the age of the atomic bomb.

Florencia Mallon, the chair of UW’s history department, described Boyer as humble, generous and supportive of other colleagues.

“He was an incredibly unassuming person,” Mallon said. “He was one of the most outstanding people in his field. … He was an internationally-known historian, but he was a very humble man. He never blew his own horn.”...

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