Born in Louisville, Mississippi, on July 14, 1903. Died, June 28, 2005. University Professor. University of Kentucky, M.A., 1929.
After taking his master's degree at the University of Kentucky in 1929, he went on to Duke to pursue a doctorate in history. He returned to join the UK faculty in 1931, and earned the Duke Ph.D. degree in 1932. He previously had taken a bachelor's degree at the University of Mississippi, 1925.
He had done special work in bibliography for the University of Kentucky in 1929 and 1930. Joining UK as an instructor, he was named assistant professor in 1935, associate professor in 1939, professor in 1942, and distinguished professor, 1950-68. He retired from the University in 1968.
Indiana University named him Sesquicentennial professor in 1968, and distinguished service professor, 1968-73. He was distinguished professor at Eastern Kentucky University, 1973-76. He has taught at Tennessee, University of North Carolina, Duke, Rochester, Chicago, Harvard, Penn State, Wisconsin, Kent State, Stanford, and University of Washington. In 1975, he served as Bingham Professor at the University of Louisville. He was a Professor at Oxford University, University of Vienna, University of Athens, and University of Thessalonica. He was a lecturer for the State Department in India, and participated in the second meeting of Salzburg Seminar, and the Yugoslav-American Seminar, 1965.
He has been President of the Southern Historical Association, and the Organization of American Historians. He has been a member of Phi Alpha Theta.
He was editor of "Journal of Southern History," and Executive Secretary of the Organization of American Historians.
Books: "History of Kentucky;" "The Rampaging Frontier;" "The Kentucky" (Rivers of America Series); "Pills, Petticoats, and Plows;" "The Southern Country Editor;" "Frontier America;" "The Emerging South" (with A. D. Kirwan); "The South Since Appomattox;" "Kentucky, Land of Contrast;" "History of Indiana University" (4 vols.); "Agrarian Kentucky;" "Exploring Kentucky" and, "Beginning of the L&N, From New Orleans to Cairo, the Illinois Central," edited with "Travels in the South" (6 vol.). He edited "Gold Rush Diary," the diary of E. Douglas Perkins, and "Off at Sunrise, the Diary of Charles Glass Gray."
In 1999, he was one of the founders of the Lexington history Museum.
Memberships: Phi Beta Kappa, Omicron Delta Kappa, Phi Alpha Theta.
He was awarded six honorary degrees, one of them from the University of Kentucky.