In Remembrance: Richard H. Brown ’49, ’52Law, ’55PhD Died on January 16 2019

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Richard Holbrook Brown died on January 16, 2019, after a brief illness. He was 91. Born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Joseph R. and Sylvia (Cook) Brown, he grew up in Pasadena, California, and graduated from Yale College in 1949. He earned a PhD in American history, also at Yale, in 1955. 

He taught at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and at Northern Illinois University, and directed the Amherst Project, formally known as the Committee on Teaching History, an innovative program for training teachers of history to use primary source materials. He was the author of The Hero and the People: The Meaning of Jacksonian Democracy (1964), a number of influential textbooks, and The Ideal Library of the Continent (2012), which recounts the founding of the Newberry Library. At the Newberry he served successively as director of the Seminar in the Humanities, associate director for research and education, and academic vice president until his retirement in 1994. He is credited with creating the Newberry's groundbreaking research and education programs, which have been imitated widely in research libraries around the US, and he was mentor and friend to many young historians who passed through the Newberry. He was also a cofounder of the Chicago Metro History Fair, a member of the Ogden School Local School Council, and a lifelong fan of the Chicago Cubs. He was preceded in death by his partner of 38 years, William Lloyd Barber.

Burial will be private, but a memorial is planned for 10:00 a.m. on March 23, 2019, at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton Street, Chicago, IL 60610.

—Submitted on behalf of the deceased.

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