Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on May 30, 1910, Journalist. Historian. University of Kentucky, Ph.D., 1954. Died June 7, 1980.
His first career was in journalism. From 1932 to 1951, except for the period of World War II, he was a reporter and columnist with the Fort Wayne Journal-Gazette. After the war, he returned to his position with the newspaper, but in 1951 he decided to become an academician and entered the Graduate School of the University of Kentucky to work in history. Completing his training in 1954, he remained on the faculty here until his retirement in 1975.
His record as a history professor was remarkable. He wrote seven books, all of them well received by the scholarly profession, and some of them considered definitive on their topics. He earned virtually every honor for which he was eligible.
He was a Guggenheim Fellow and a Fulbright Scholar. He received the University of Kentucky Research Award and, on two occasions, the UK Alumni Association Great Teacher Award. He won the Hallam Professor Award of the UK History Department for outstanding achievement and was designated the Distinguished Professor of the UK College of Arts and Sciences.
For many years he served as Chairman of the Editorial Board of the University Press of Kentucky. He served as Chairman of the Publications Committee of the Lexington-Fayette County Historical Commission, was President of the Kentucky Civil War Round Table, and was a member of the Review Board of the Kentucky Heritage Commission. He was a life member of the UK National Alumni Association and a University Fellow.
He held honorary degrees from four institutions of higher learning: Franklin College, Lincoln Memorial University, Indiana University, and the University of Kentucky.He was one of only three Kentuckians who have been President of the Southern Historical Association. Only the testimony of his countless colleagues, former students and friends could give a true idea of his zest for life and the deep affection he held for his fellow man.
Holman Hamilton was named to the Hall of Distinguished Alumni on April 11, 1980.