Richard Dunn, Eminent Historian of Early America and Caribbean, Dies at 93Historians in the News
tags: obituaries, early American history
Richard S. Dunn, 93, formerly of Philadelphia, an award-winning professor emeritus of American history at the University of Pennsylvania, director emeritus of the groundbreaking McNeil Center for Early American Studies, co-executive officer emeritus of the American Philosophical Society, and a prolific researcher and author, died Monday, Jan. 24, of congestive heart failure and COVID-19 at home in Winston-Salem, N.C.
A renowned expert on early American and Caribbean history, he was a professor at Penn for 40 years. He chaired the school’s history department from 1972 to 1977, helped recruit its first tenured women faculty members, and won the school’s 1993 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching.
He served on several committees that shaped the School of Arts and Sciences and the university as a whole, and was named Penn’s first Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols professor of American History. The history department created the Richard S. Dunn Award for Distinguished Teaching after his retirement in 1996.
Professor Dunn formed the Philadelphia Center for Early American Studies, now the McNeil Center for Early American Studies, at Penn in 1977, and served in leadership roles until 2000. The center’s Richard S. Dunn fellowship recognizes excellence in scholarship, and its head of staff holds the Richard S. Dunn directorship.
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