Robert Middlekauff (1929-2021), In Memoriam

March 17, 2021

Dear History Community,

I write to announce the passing on March 10, 2021 of Robert Middlekauff, Preston Hotchkis Professor of American History Emeritus at the University of California, Berkeley.  Born in 1929 and raised in Yakima, Washington, Bob received his B.A. from University of Washington in 1952.  After serving in the Marines between 1952-1954 including deployments to Korea and Japan, he earned his M.A. from the University of Washington in 1957 and his Ph.D. in History from Yale University in 1961.  

Bob taught in the Cal History Department from 1962-2000.  He earned tenure in 1966, was promoted to full professor in 1970 and served as Department Chair three times (1978-81, 1991-92, 1997-98).   A talented administrator, Bob was Dean of the Division of Social Sciences at UC Berkeley between 1974-77 and Provost and Dean of the College of Letters and Science from 1981-83.
Bob authored five monographs including Washington's Revolution: The Making of America's First Leader (Knopf, 2015), Benjamin Franklin and his Enemies (University of California, 1998), The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789 (Oxford University Press, 1982) and Ancients and Axioms: Secondary Education in Eighteenth Century New England (Yale University Press, 1963).  Among the many honors that he earned during his career were the Berkeley Citation in 1983 (for "Distinguished Achievement and for Notable Service to the University") and the Academic Senate's Distinguished Teaching Award in 1996.  He also won the Bancroft Prize for his book The Mathers: Three Generations of Puritan Intellectuals, 1596-1728 (Oxford University Press, 1971). 
In addition to his distinguished career at UC Berkeley, Bob served as the Director of the Huntington Library, Art Gallery and Botanical Gardens and as the Vyvyan Harmsworth Professor of American History at Oxford University.
Bob is survived by his wife Beverly, his children Sam and Holly and his grandchildren Benjamin Katz, Haley Katz and Coleman Katz. 
There will be no memorial meeting, at Bob's request.

Peter Zinoman, Department Chair