American People Famous Historians from the United States

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List of notable or famous historians from the United States, with bios and photos, including the top historians born in the United States and even some popular historians who immigrated to the United States. If you're trying to find out the names of famous American historians then this list is the perfect resource for you. These historians are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known historian from the United States is included when available.

List ranges from Woodrow Wilson to Theodore Roosevelt and more.

This historic historians from the United States list can help answer the questions "Who are some American historians of note?" and "Who are the most famous historians from the United States?" These prominent historians of the United States may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected American historians.

Use this list of renowned American historians to discover some new historians that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. 

1
Harry Houdini is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 52 (1874-1926) Harry Houdini was a Hungarian-American illusionist and stunt performer, noted for his sensational escape acts. He first attracted notice in vaudeville in the US and then as "Harry Handcuff ...more

2
Isaac Asimov is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 72 (1920-1992) Isaac Asimov was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was prolific and ...more

3
Howard Zinn is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 88 (1922-2010) Howard Zinn was an American historian, author, playwright, and social activist. He was a political science professor at Boston University. Zinn wrote more than 20 books, including his ...more

4
George McGovern is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 90 (1922-2012) George Stanley McGovern was an American historian, author, U.S. Representative, U.S. Senator, and the Democratic Party presidential nominee in the 1972 presidential election. McGovern grew up in ...more

5
Carl Sandburg is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 89 (1878-1967) Carl August Sandburg was an American poet, writer, and editor who won three Pulitzer Prizes, two for his poetry and one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln. During his lifetime, Sandburg was ...more

6
George F. Kennan is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 101 (1904-2005) George Frost Kennan was an American advisor, diplomat, and historian, known best as an advocate of a policy of containment of Soviet expansion at the end of World War II. He later reversed ...more

7
Lucius Beebe is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 64 (1902-1966) Lucius Morris Beebe was an American author, gourmand, photographer, railroad historian, journalist, and syndicated columnist.

8
Carter G. Woodson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 75 (1875-1950) Carter Godwin Woodson was an African-American historian, author, journalist and the founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History. Woodson was one of the first ...more

9
Cokie Roberts is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
age 74 Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Roberts, best known as Cokie Roberts, is an American journalist and author. She is a contributing senior news analyst for National Public Radio as well as ...more

10
Daniel Pipes is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
age 68 Daniel Pipes is an American historian, writer, and political commentator. He is the president of the Middle East Forum, and publisher of its Middle East Quarterly journal. His writing focuses on ...more

11
Drew Gilpin Faust is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
age 70 Drew Gilpin Faust, an American historian and professor, is the first female president of Harvard University. A veteran Ivy League professor and administrator, Faust is known especially for her ...more

12
John Boswell is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 47 (1947-1994) John Eastburn Boswell was a prominent historian and a professor at Yale University. Many of Boswell's studies focused on the issue of religion and homosexuality, specifically Christianity and ...more

13
Daniel Alexander Payne Murray is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 73 (1852-1925) Daniel Alexander Payne Murray was an assistant librarian at the Library of Congress; a bibliographer, author, politician, and historian.

14
Henry Cabot Lodge is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 74 (1850-1924) Henry Cabot Lodge was an American Republican Senator and historian from Massachusetts. A PhD in history from Harvard, he was a long-time friend and confidant of Theodore Roosevelt. Lodge had the ...more

15
Elie Wiesel is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
age 89 Eliezer "Elie" Wiesel KBE is a Jewish-American professor and political activist. He is the author of 57 books, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in the ...more

16
Dorothy Dietrich is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
age 48 Dorothy Dietrich is an American stage magician and escapologist, and the first and only woman to have performed the bullet catch in her mouth. She was also the first woman to perform a ...more

17
Antony C. Sutton is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 77 (1925-2002) Antony Cyril Sutton was a British and American economist, historian, and writer.

18
Charles Clegg is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 63 (1916-1979) Charles Myron Clegg, Jr., was an American author, photographer, and railroad historian. Clegg is primarily remembered as the lifelong companion of famed railroad author Lucius Beebe, and was a ...more

19
David Halberstam is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 73 (1934-2007) David Halberstam was an American journalist and historian, known for his early work on the Vietnam War, his work on politics, history, the Civil Rights Movement, business, media, American ...more

20
Carlton J. H. Hayes is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 82 (1882-1964) Carlton Joseph Huntley Hayes was an American educator, diplomat, devout Catholic and academic. A student of European history, he was a leading and pioneering specialist on the study of ...more

21
John K. Fairbank is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 84 (1907-1991) John King Fairbank, was a prominent American academic and historian of China.

22
David E. Kyvig is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
David E. Kyvig is an American historian, and Distinguished Research Professor at Northern Illinois University.

23
George Hilton is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 89 (1925-2014) George Woodman Hilton was a United States historian and economist, who specialized in social history, transportation economics, regulation by commission, the history of economic thought and ...more

24
Jacques Barzun is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 105 (1907-2012) Jacques Martin Barzun was a French-born American historian of ideas and culture, who wrote about a wide range of subjects, including baseball and classical music, yet is known best as a ...more

25
Jerry D Thompson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
age 75 Jerry Don Thompson is Regents Professor of History at Texas A&M International University in Laredo, Texas. He is a prolific author of books on a variety of related topics, specializing in ...more

26
Ignace Gelb is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 78 (1907-1985) Ignace Jay Gelb was a Polish-American ancient historian and Assyriologist who pioneered the scientific study of writing systems.

27
Randall Price is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
J. Randall Price is a theologian, archaeologist, and research author who is founder and President of World of the Bible Ministries.

28
M. A. Dewolfe Howe is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 96 (1864-1960) Mark Antony De Wolfe Howe was an American editor and author.

29
John Canaday is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 78 (1907-1985) John Edwin Canaday was a leading American art critic, author and art historian.

30
Eric Alterman is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
age 58 Eric Alterman is an American historian, journalist, author, media critic, blogger, and educator. His political weblog named Altercation was hosted by MSNBC.com from 2002 until 2006, moved to ...more

31
Douglas Porch is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
age 73 Douglas Porch is an American military historian and academic. He currently serves as a Professor of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School, and is the former Chair of the ...more

32
Larry Collins is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 76 (1929-2005) Larry Collins, born John Lawrence Collins Jr., was an American writer.

33
Cecilia Mettler is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 34 (1909-1943) Cecilia Charlotte Asper Mettler was a medical historian. She was one of the first full-time, and the first female, professors of the history of medicine in the United States. Mettler was born on ...more

34
Louis Auchincloss is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 93 (1917-2010) Louis Stanton Auchincloss was an American lawyer, novelist, historian, and essayist. He is best known as a prolific novelist who parlayed his experiences into books exploring the experiences and ...more

35
Evelyn Fox Keller is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
age 82 Evelyn Fox Keller is an American physicist, author and feminist. She is currently Professor Emerita of History and Philosophy of Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Keller's ...more

36
Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
age 67 Henry Louis Gates, Jr. is the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Research at Harvard University. He is also an Emmy ...more

37
Allan Lichtman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
age 71 Allan Jay Lichtman is an American political historian who teaches at American University in Washington, D.C. He ran in the 2006 Maryland senate race for the seat vacated by Paul Sarbanes.

38
Hugh Nibley is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 95 (1910-2005) Hugh Winder Nibley was an American author, Mormon apologist, and professor at Brigham Young University. His works, while not official positions of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day ...more

39
Daniel J. Boorstin is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 90 (1914-2004) Daniel Joseph Boorstin was an American historian at the University of Chicago, writing on many topics in American history and world history. He was appointed twelfth Librarian of the United ...more

40
Henry Adams is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 80 (1838-1918) Henry Brooks Adams was an American historian and member of the Adams political family, being descended from two U.S. Presidents. As a young Harvard graduate, he was secretary to his father, ...more

41
David Oshinsky is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
age 74 David M. Oshinsky is an American historian. He currently holds the Jack S. Blanton chair in history at the University of Texas at Austin and is a distinguished scholar in residence at New York ...more

42
Arnold Reisman is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Historians from the United States

43
Louis R. Harlan is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 88 (1922-2010) Louis R. Harlan is a Pulitzer-prize winning writer.

44
David Thomson is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
age 77 David Thomson is a British film critic and historian based in the United States and the author of more than 20 books. His reference works in particular — Have You Seen...?: A Personal ...more

45
Iris Chang is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 36 (1968-2004) Iris Chang is a writer.

46
James T. Patterson is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
age 83 James T. Patterson is an American historian, who is the Ford Foundation Professor of History emeritus at Brown University.

47
Alan Taylor is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
age 62 Alan Shaw Taylor is an American historian specializing in early United States history. He is the author of a number of books about the colonial history of the United States, the American ...more

48
David McCullough is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
age 84 David Gaub McCullough is an American author, narrator, historian, and lecturer. He is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and a recipient of the Presidential ...more

49
Louise A. Tilly is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
age 87 Louise A. Tilly is a historian known for utilizing an interdisciplinary approach to her scholarly work, fusing sociolology with historical research. Born December 13, 1930, in Orange, New ...more

50
Lewis Mumford is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Historians from the United States
Dec. at 95 (1895-1990) Lewis Mumford, KBE was an American historian, sociologist, philosopher of technology, and literary critic. Particularly noted for his study of cities and urban architecture, he had a broad ...more