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David Levering Lewis

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Information about David Levering Lewis

Profile image of David Levering Lewis

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Historian
History Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Lamb
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Costa Del Sol, Spain
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
5/25/1936
Birth Location:
Little Rock, Arkansas

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Historian
History Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Lamb
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Costa Del Sol, Spain
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
5/25/1936
Birth Location:
Little Rock
See how David Levering Lewis is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Pulitzer Prize winning historian David Levering Lewis was born on May 25, 1936, in Little Rock, Arkansas. Lewis’s father, Yale educated theologian John Henry Lewis, Sr., was the principal of Paul Laurence Dunbar High School and his mother was a high school math teacher. After attending parochial school in Little Rock, Lewis went to Wilberforce Preparatory School and Xenia High School, both in Ohio. Moving to Atlanta, Georgia, Lewis attended Booker T. Washington High School until he was admitted to Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, on a four year Ford Foundation Early Entrants scholarship. Graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Fisk University in 1956, Lewis then attended the University of Michigan Law School, but eventually earned his M.A. degree in history from Columbia University in 1959. Lewis earned his Ph.D. degree in modern European and French history from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1962.

After serving in the United States Army, Lewis lectured on medieval history at the University of Ghana in 1963. Lewis taught at Howard University, Cornell University, the University of Notre Dame, Harvard University, and the University of California, San Diego, before joining Rutgers University in 1985 as the Martin Luther King, Jr., Professor of History. In 2003, Lewis was appointed Julius Silver University Professor and Professor of History at New York University.

Winner of two Pulitzer Prizes for his biographies of W.E.B. DuBois, Lewis also won the Bancroft Prize and the Francis Parkman Prize. Lewis received fellowships from the Center for Advanced Study of Behavioral Sciences; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars; the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation; the American Philosophical Society; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Lewis also served as a trustee of the National Humanities Center; the commissioner of the National Portrait Gallery; and a former senator of Phi Beta Kappa. A former president of the Society of American Historians (2002-2003), Lewis serves on the board of the NAACP’s The Crisis magazine.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of David Levering Lewis' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis describes his maternal family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis describes his mother's family
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis describes his parents' relationship
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis describes his father's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - David Levering Lewis describes his mother's college experience
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - David Levering Lewis describes his childhood household
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - David Levering Lewis describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - David Levering Lewis shares his family's experience of the 1906 Atlanta riot
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis describes his father's role in advocating for equal teachers' salaries in Little Rock
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis recalls his childhood neighborhood in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis remembers learning to read late
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis remembers losing a friend due to segregation
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis recalls his childhood in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis recalls living in Wilberforce, Ohio
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - David Levering Lewis recalls his education Wilberforce, Ohio
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - David Levering Lewis remembers his acceptance to Nashville's Fisk University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis names his schools
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis describes choosing Fisk University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis remembers the faculty at Fisk University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis remembers the speakers and culture at Fisk University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis remembers being almost expelled from Fisk University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis remembers studying at the College of Wooster in Ohio
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - David Levering Lewis remembers his Phi Beta Kappa induction at Fisk University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis remembers applying to law school
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis remembers attending the University of Michigan Law School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis describes his graduate school experience
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis remembers a trip with his father and his father's death
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis describes attending the London School of Economics
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis remembers his time in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - David Levering Lewis explains why he traveled to Ghana
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of David Levering Lewis' interview, session 2
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis shares memories from his childhood
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis describes teaching at the University of Ghana
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis recalls the atmosphere at the University of Ghana
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis describes the political climate of Ghana in the early 1960s
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis describes the United States' involvement in Ghana's 1965 coup
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis describes returning to the United States in 1964
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - David Levering Lewis describes his visits to West African countries
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - David Levering Lewis recalls traveling between Ghana and the Ivory Coast
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - David Levering Lewis describes teaching at Howard University
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - David Levering Lewis describes meeting his wife and his mother's death
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis describes teaching at the University of Notre Dame
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis describes writing his biography of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis describes the reception of 'King: A Critical Biography'
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis describes the FBI's surveillance of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis describes his admiration for Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis recalls leaving Morgan College for Federal City College
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - David Levering Lewis remembers historian Benjamin A. Quarles
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis remembers his plan to write 'Prisoners of Honor'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis recalls his son's medical diagnosis and working in France
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis recalls the reception of 'Prisoners of Honor'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis describes his argument in 'When Harlem Was in Vogue'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis remembers gaining access to Alain Locke's letters
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis reflects upon the organization of the Harlem Renaissance
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - David Levering Lewis describes the Dunbar News
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - David Levering Lewis describes his book on the history of Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis remembers the reception to 'When Harlem Was in Vogue'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis describes difficult times in his personal life
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis describes his time at the University of California, San Diego
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis recalls his research trip to Ethiopia and Sudan
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis describes his book 'Race to Fashoda'
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis remembers returning to Howard University
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - David Levering Lewis remembers the genesis of his biography on W.E.B. Du Bois, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis remembers the genesis of his biography on W.E.B. Du Bois, pt. 2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis remembers researching W.E.B. Du Bois in the Soviet Union
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis describes his time in the Soviet Union
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis describes interviewing members of W.E.B. Du Bois' family
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' romantic relationships
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis shares biographical details about W.E.B. Du Bois
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - David Levering Lewis remembers meeting W.E.B. Du Bois
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' early development
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Slating of David Levering Lewis' interview, session 3
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' time at Harvard University
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis talks about William Monroe Trotter
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' studies in Germany
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis describes academia's response to W.E.B. Du Bois' dissertation
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' temperament
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' 'The Philadelphia Negro'
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' legacy in social science
  • Tape: 10 Story: 9 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' 'The Souls of Black Folk'
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' development throughout his life
  • Tape: 11 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis describes changes in W.E.B. Du Bois' position on economics
  • Tape: 11 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' split with the NAACP
  • Tape: 11 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' 'Black Reconstruction in America'
  • Tape: 11 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis describes W.E.B. Du Bois' eccentricities
  • Tape: 11 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis describes the end of W.E.B. Du Bois' life
  • Tape: 11 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis reflects upon W.E.B. Du Bois' place in educational curricula
  • Tape: 11 Story: 8 - David Levering Lewis describes his book, 'God's Crucible'
  • Tape: 12 Story: 1 - David Levering Lewis remembers being in Morocco during 9/11
  • Tape: 12 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis talks about the history of Islam, pt. 1
  • Tape: 12 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis talks about the history of Islam, pt. 2
  • Tape: 12 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis talks about Charlemagne's invasion of Al-Andalus
  • Tape: 12 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis describes the inspiration for his book 'God's Crucible'
  • Tape: 12 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis describes his book 'God's Crucible'
  • Tape: 12 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis describes religious polarization in 11th century Europe
  • Tape: 12 Story: 8 - David Levering Lewis talks about the Moors
  • Tape: 12 Story: 9 - David Levering Lewis describes his position at New York University
  • Tape: 13 Story: 1 - David Levering Lewis describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 1
  • Tape: 13 Story: 2 - David Levering Lewis describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community, pt. 2
  • Tape: 13 Story: 3 - David Levering Lewis reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 13 Story: 4 - David Levering Lewis reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 13 Story: 5 - David Levering Lewis talks about his family
  • Tape: 13 Story: 6 - David Levering Lewis describes his plans for the future
  • Tape: 13 Story: 7 - David Levering Lewis reflects upon the significance of his childhood pet