David Herbert Donald
Born October 1, 1920 Died May 17, 2009 (aged 88) Nationality American Occupation Historian, Harvard University Known for Two Pulitzer Prizes for biography, and 1995 biography of Abraham Lincoln
David Herbert Donald (October 1, 1920 - May 17, 2009) was an American historian, best known for his 1995 biography of Abraham Lincoln. He twice won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography for earlier works; he published more than 30 books on United States political and literary figures and the history of the American South.
Early life and education
David Herbert Donald was born in
Goodman, Mississippi, a town in the center of Holmes County. The county's western border is formed by the Yazoo River and it is part of the Mississippi-Yazoo Delta.
history and sociology, Donald earned his bachelor's degree from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He earned his  Ph.D. in 1946 under eminent Lincoln scholar  James G. Randall at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Randall as a mentor influenced Donald's life and career. He encouraged his protégé to write his dissertation on Abraham Lincoln's law partner, William Herndon. Donald adapted and published the dissertation as his first book, Lincoln's Herndon (1948).  
After completing his doctorate, Donald taught at
Columbia University, Johns Hopkins University and, from 1973, Harvard University. He also taught at Smith College, the University of North Wales, Princeton University, University College London and served as Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University. At Johns Hopkins, Columbia, and Harvard he trained dozens of graduate students, including Jean H. Baker, William J. Cooper, Jr., Michael Holt, Irwin Unger, Ari Hoogenboom, and Richard R. John.
Donald served as president of the
Southern Historical Association. Donald also served on the editorial board for the Papers of Abraham Lincoln. 
Donald was the Charles Warren Professor of American History (
emeritus from 1991) at Harvard University. He wrote more than thirty books, including well-received biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Wolfe and Charles Sumner. He specialized in the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods, and in the history of the American South.
Legacy and honors
Donald received the
Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography twice, in 1961 for Charles Sumner and the Coming of the Civil War and in 1988 for Look Homeward: A Life of Thomas Wolfe. He also received several honorary degrees.
David Herbert Donald received the
American Academy of Achievement's Golden Plate Award in 1997. 
David Herbert Donald was inducted as a Laureate of
The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the State's highest honor) by the Governor of Illinois in 2008 in the area of Communications and Education. 
In his introduction,
Carl Sandburg, the poet and Lincoln biographer, hailed Donald's first book as the answer to scholars' prayers: "When is someone going to do the life of Bill Herndon. Isn't it about time? Now the question is out."
David M. Potter, known as a Lincoln scholar, said Donald's biography of Charles Sumner portrayed, "Sumner as a man with acute psychological inadequacies" and exposed Sumner's "facade of pompous rectitude." Donald's evenhanded approach to Sumner, Potter concluded, was a model for biographers working with a difficult subject. "If it does not make Sumner attractive [the book] certainly makes him understandable." 
Donald lived in
Lincoln, Massachusetts, with his wife Aida DiPace Donald, who is also a historian and author. He died of  heart failure in Boston on May 17, 2009. Donald is survived by his wife, his son  Bruce Donald and two granddaughters. 
Lincoln's Herndon (1948) 
Divided We Fought: A Pictorial History of the War, 1861--1865 (1952)  Editor,
Inside Lincoln's Cabinet: The Civil War Diaries of Salmon P. Chase. (1954) 
Lincoln Reconsidered: Essays on the Civil War Era (1956, 2nd edition 1961, 3rd edition 2001) ( ISBN 0-679-72310-2). 
Charles Sumner and the Coming of the Civil War (1960). Pulitzer Prize-winning scholarly biography to 1860. 
The Civil War and Reconstruction (1961; 2001) ( ISBN 0-393-97427-8), 2001 edition with Jean H. Baker & Michael F. Holt; 1961 edition with James G. Randall.  Editor,
Why the North Won the Civil War (1962) ( ISBN 0-02-031660-7) (revised ed. 1996).  Editor with Aida DiPace Donald,
Diary of Charles Francis Adams, Volumes 1 and 2, January 1820 - September 1829 (1964), Harvard University Press. 
The Politics of Reconstruction, 1863-1867 (1965) 
Charles Sumner and the Rights of Man (1970). Biography after 1860. 
(1987)( Look Homeward: A Life of Thomas Wolfe ISBN 9780316189521). 
Lincoln (1995) ISBN 0-684-80846-3 
Lincoln at Home: Two Glimpses of Abraham Lincoln's Domestic Life (1999) ISBN 978-0-912308-77-7.  We Are Lincoln Men: Abraham Lincoln and His Friends (2003) ( ISBN 0-7432-5468-6). 
Sources Paul Goodman, "David Donald's Charles Sumner Reconsidered" in
The New England Quarterly, Vol. 37, No. 3. (Sep., 1964), pp. 373-387. online at JSTOR Ari Hoogenboom, "David Herbert Donald: A Celebration," in A Master's Due: Essays in Honor of David Herbert Donald, ed. William J. Cooper, Jr., et al.(Louisiana State University Press, 1985), 1--15.
^ a b c d
Famed Lincoln Scholar David Herbert Donald Dies National Public Radio
^ a b c Grimes, William.
"David Herbert Donald, Writer on Lincoln, Dies at 88", , May 19, 2009. Accessed 19 May 2009. The New York Times
"Meet Our Editorial Board" (PDF). Lincoln Editor: Quarterly Newsletter of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln, July-September 2001, p. 3.
"David Herbert Donald, Ph.D. Biography and Interview". www.achievement.org. American Academy of Achievement.
"Laureates by Year - The Lincoln Academy of Illinois". The Lincoln Academy of Illinois . Retrieved .
^ Robert Allen Rutland, "David Herbert Donald," in Robert Allen Rutland, ed.
Clio's Favorites: Leading Historians of the United States, 1945-2000, U of Missouri Press. (2000) pg 41
Donald, David Herbert (1989-03-01). . Da Capo Press. Lincoln's Herndon: A Biography ISBN . 0306803534
"Google Books". books.google.com . Retrieved .
Chase, Salmon P. (2011-10-01). . Literary Licensing, LLC. Inside Lincoln's Cabinet: The Civil War Diaries of Salmon P. Chase ISBN . 9781258108342
Donald, David Herbert (2001-01-01). . Vintage Books. Lincoln Reconsidered: Essays on the Civil War Era ISBN . 9780375725326
Donald, David Herbert (2009-03-01). . Sourcebooks, Inc. Charles Sumner and the Coming of the Civil War ISBN . 9781402227196
DONALD, J. G. RANDALL, DAVID HERBERT (1969-01-01). . THE CIVIL WAR AND RECONSTRUCTION
Commager, Henry Steele; Donald, David Herbert (1996-11-05). . Why the North Won the Civil War Simon and Schuster. ISBN . 9780684825069
"Search Results - Harvard University Press". www.hup.harvard.edu . Retrieved .
Donald, David Herbert (1999-06-01). . iUniverse. The Politics of Reconstruction, 1863-1867 ISBN . 9781583484418
Donald, David Herbert (1970-01-01). . Knopf. Charles Sumner and the rights of man
Donald, David Herbert (1987). . Little, Brown. Look Homeward: A Life of Thomas Wolfe ISBN . 9780316189521 OCLC 925224109 . Retrieved 2018.
Donald, David Herbert (1996-11-05). . Simon and Schuster. Lincoln ISBN . 9780684825359
Donald, David Herbert (2003-11-04). . Simon and Schuster. Lincoln at Home: Two Glimpses of Abraham Lincoln's Family Life ISBN . 9780743211420
Donald, David Herbert (2003-01-01). . Simon & Schuster. "We are Lincoln Men": Abraham Lincoln and His Friends ISBN . 9780743254687