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Roy Franklin Nichols

Roy Franklin Nichols (March 3, 1896 – January 12, 1973) was an American historian and a Pulitzer Prize winner. He won the Pulitzer Prize for History for The Disruption of American Democracy.


  • Biography 1
  • Publications, prizes and honorary degrees 2
  • Notes 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Nichols was born in Newark, New Jersey, to Franklin Coriell and Annie Cairns Nichols. His wife was the historian Jeannette Paddock Nichols (1890-1982). He graduated from Rutgers University in 1918. He completed a Master of Arts degree from Rutgers in 1919. He was a fellow at Columbia University from 1920 to 1921,[1] and an instructor in history at Columbia from 1921 to 1925.[2] He completed a PhD degree from Columbia in 1923. In 1925 he was appointed assistant professor of history at the University of Pennsylvania. From 1930 to 1966, he was professor of history at Pennsylvania. He also was Dean of Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (1952–66), and Vice Provost at Pennsylvania (1953–66). He was a visiting professor at Columbia (1944–45), Pitt Professor of American History and Institutions at Cambridge University (1948–49), and Stanford University (1952). In 1962 he was Fulbright lecturer in India and Japan.[2]

He was President of Middle States Association of History Teachers (1932–33); President of Pennsylvania Federation of Historical Societies (1940–42); Member of Pennsylvania Historical Commission (1940–43); Member of Council, American Historical Association (1943–47); Chairman of Social Science Research Council (1949–53); President of Association of Graduate Schools of the American Association of Universities (1963–64); Vice President of American Historical Association (1964–65); President of American Historical Association (1965–66); and, Chairman of Council of Graduate Schools in the United States.[2]

He was a Baptist.[2]

Publications, prizes and honorary degrees

Nichols published a number of books on American history and politics. He won the Pulitzer Prize for History for The Disruption of American Democracy in 1949.[1] His other publications include The Democratic Machine, 1850-1854 (1923), Advance Agents of American Destiny (1956), and The Invention of American Political Parties (1967). He received Haney Medal for Literary Excellence in 1961 and Athenaeum Literary Award in 1961.[3] He has also received a number of honorary degrees from universities such as Rutgers University and Cambridge University.[2]


  1. ^ a b Fischer & Fischer (2002), p. 177
  2. ^ a b c d e Brennan & Clarage (1999), p. 295
  3. ^ Athenaeum Literary Award, official website.


  • Fischer, Heinz-Dietrich; Erika J. Fischer (2002). Complete biographical encyclopedia of Pulitzer Prize winners, 1917-2000. Munich, Germany: K. G. Saur.  
  • Brennan, Elizabeth A.; Elizabeth C. Clarage (1999). Who's who of Pulitzer Prize Winners. Greenwood Publishing Group.  

External links

  • Roy Franklin Nichols biography
  • Papers of Roy Nichols at the University of Pennsylvania Libraries
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