Richard Lowitt, professor of history, passed away in June 2018 after a brief illness at his home in Concord, Massachusetts. He taught at Connecticut College for 12 years from 1954 to 1966. He will be dearly missed and lovingly remembered, and his instruction and mentorship were an inspiration for many students and colleagues.
Born in 1922 in New York City to Hungarian immigrants, he received a bachelor’s degree from City College of New York and a master’s degree and doctorate in history from Columbia University. His focus was the American West in the 20th century, and he was best known for a definitive biography of U.S. Sen. George W. Norris of Nebraska, who was instrumental in passing the Tennessee Valley Authority legislation. His other works included “The New Deal and the West,” “The Standing Bear Controversy: Prelude to Indian Reform” and biographies of Sens. Bronson Cutting of New Mexico and Fred Harris of Oklahoma.
His distinguished teaching career included positions on the history faculty at the University of Maryland, University of Rhode Island, Florida State University and University of Kentucky. He served as chair of the history department 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, a fellow of the Agricultural History Society and a senior fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He was professionally associated with several historical societies of the American West.
He was predeceased in 2006 by his wife of 53 years, Suzanne Lowitt, who also was a historian and editor, and in 2016 by his brother Donald Lowitt of New York. He is survived by his son Peter Lowitt and wife Marilyn of Concord, Mass.; his daughter Pamela Bennett and husband Wayne, of New York; and his four grandchildren: Matthew Bannister and wife Keri, and Nicholas Lowitt, all of Colorado, and Adam and Gillian Bennett of New York.