Proctor, Samuel 1919-2005

views updated

PROCTOR, Samuel 1919-2005

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born March 29, 1919, in Jacksonville, FL; died July 10, 2005, in Gainesville, FL. Historian, educator, and author. Proctor was a professor emeritus of history at the University of Florida at Gainesville who was especially recognized for his work in preserving the oral history of the state. A graduate of the University of Florida, he completed his B.A. in 1941 and his M.A. in 1942 before enlisting in the U.S. Army during World War II. He spent much of his time stateside at Camp Blanding, where he taught illiterate soldiers to read. After the war, Proctor returned to the University of Florida to work as an instructor while completing his Ph.D., which he earned in 1958. He would go on to spend his entire academic career at the University of Florida, where he was named Julian C. Young professor of Florida history in 1976 and retired in 1993. During his time there, he became fascinated by the state's history and founded the university's oral history program, which was named after him. Over many decades, Proctor made nearly four thousand recordings of Floridians, ranging from ordinary citizens to Seminole Indians to state leaders. He also edited the Florida Historical Quarterly for three decades, cofounded the Center for Latin American Studies and the Center for the Study of Southeastern Indians, served as curator for the Florida State Museum, and was a staunch supporter and fundraiser for the Center for Jewish Studies at the university. Proctor wrote and edited a number of books on the history of his state and of the university, including Florida One Hundred Years Ago (1986), Gator History: History of the University of Florida (1986), and The University of Florida (1990); he also penned biographies, such as Napoleon Bonaparte Broward: Florida's Fighting Democrat (1950) and N.B. Broward (1993). After his official retirement, Proctor continued to work on his oral history recordings at the university. He received several honors for his work during his lifetime, most recently being presented with an honorary doctorate in public service from the University of Florida in 2005.



American Intelligence Wire, July 12, 2005.

Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), July 11, 2005, p. 22.


Ledger Online, (September 14, 2005).

University of Florida History Department Web site, (October 3, 2005).