Richard Lowitt, Distinguished Professor of American History, died at the age of 96 after a brief illness on Saturday, June 23, at his home in Concord, MA. His focus was the American West in the 20th century, and was best known for a definitive biography of Senator George W. Norris of Nebraska, who was instrumental in passing the Tennessee Valley Authority legislation. Other works include a biography of Senator Bronson Cutting of New Mexico, a biography of Senator Fred Harris of Oklahoma, the New Deal and the West, and The Standing Bear Controversy: Prelude to Indian Reform.
Born in 1922 in New York City to Hungarian immigrants, Eugene Lowitt and Eleanor Lebowitz Lowitt, he received a Bachelor of Specialized Studies from City College of New York, a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in History from Columbia University. His long career included positions on the History faculty of University of Maryland, University of Rhode Island, Connecticut College, Florida State University and the University of Kentucky. He served as Chairman of the Department of History at Iowa State University, Professor Emeritus at the University of Oklahoma, and Regents Professor at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.
He was a member of the Society of American Historians, Fellow of the Agricultural History Society of which he served as president from 1991-1992, Senior Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and was a Member of the American History Association, Southern History Association, Western History Association, Mid-western History Association, and Organization of American Historians. He served on many committees and boards of editors including the Turner Prize Committee for the OAH.
Dr. Lowitt was predeceased in 2006 by his wife of 53 years, Suzanne Carson Lowitt, also an American historian and editor. He was also predeceased by his brother, Donald Lowitt. He is survived by his children, Peter Lowitt (Marilyn) of Concord, MA and Pamela Bennett (Wayne) of Brooklyn, NY. He is also survived by his grandchildren Matthew Bannister (Keri) of Erie, CO, Nicholas Lowitt of Denver, CO, Adam Bennett and Gillian Bennett of Brooklyn, NY, and great-grandson Logan Bannister. He enjoyed life in retirement in Concord, Massachusetts, after many years in the American West. He was prolific, enjoyed the history and people of his Concord community, and the company and love of his extended family there as well.
A Celebration of Dick's Life will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 10:00am at First Parish in Concord, 20 Lexington Road, Concord, MA 01742
Gifts in his memory may be made to:
First Parish in Concord
20 Lexington Road
Concord, MA 01742.