Coit, Margaret Louise 1922-2003

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COIT, Margaret Louise 1922-2003

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born May 30, 1922, in Norwich, CT; died March 15, 2003, in Amesbury, MA. Educator and author. Coit is best remembered as the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of a biography on John C. Calhoun. She was a graduate of the University of North Carolina, where she received her A.B. in 1941, and after completing her education she worked as a correspondent for the Lawrence Daily Eagle in Massachusetts until 1955. She joined the faculty at Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1956, becoming a full professor of history in 1971 and retiring in 1984. Although she was born in Connecticut, Coit was raised in North Carolina and became interested in Calhoun, a hero to many Southerners, while growing up there. She made the former U.S. secretary of state and vice president, who is sometimes remembered for his defense of slavery, the subject of her first book, John C. Calhoun: American Portrait (1950), which was hailed for revealing the complex, real man behind the image of a cold and forbidding politician. She continued to write biographies, including Mr. Baruch (1957), about the financier Bernard Baruch, and Andrew Jackson (1965), a biography for younger readers. Her authoritative biography on Calhoun gave her the opportunity to edit a later biography, Calhoun: Great Lives Observed (1970).



American Women Writers, second edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2000.

Brennan, Elizabeth A., and Elizabeth C. Clarage, Who'sWho of Pulitzer Prize Winners, Oryx (Phoenix, AZ), 1999.


Boston Globe, March 19, 2003, p. D12.

Los Angeles Times, March 22, 2003, p. B19.

Washington Post, March 23, 2003, p. C10.