Kevin Starr, California’s premier historian and USC professor, dies at 76

Historians in the News
tags: Kevin Starr, obituary



Former California State Librarian Kevin Starr, who is deemed the pre-eminent historian of the Golden State, has died. He was 76.

Starr died of a heart attack Saturday at a hospital in San Francisco, his wife, Sheila Starr said Sunday.

Starr, a professor of history at the University of Southern California, researched and wrote “Americans and the California Dream,” a series of books considered the definitive account of the California story.

“Kevin Starr chronicled the history of California as no one else. He captured the spirit of our state and brought to life the characters and personalities that made the California story. His vision, like California itself, was bigger than life,” Gov. Jerry Brown said.

Starr, who was both an accomplished scholar and an effective public figure, was appointed state librarian by Gov. Pete Wilson in 1994 and served until 2004 under governors Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who named him State Librarian Emeritus. ...




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