Ridge, Martin 1923-2003

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RIDGE, Martin 1923-2003


See index for CA sketch: Born May 7, 1923, in Chicago, IL; died September 22, 2003, in Pasadena, CA. Historian, educator, and author. Ridge was a scholar of the history of the American West. After completing his undergraduate degree at Chicago State University in 1943, he served with the U.S. Merchant Marine during World War II. With the war over, he returned to school, completing his M.A. at Northwestern University in 1949, followed by a Ph.D. there in 1951. During the early 1950s, he taught history at Westminster College, moving on to San Diego University, where he rose from an assistant to a full professor of history from 1955 to 1966, and transferring to Indiana University, where he was a full professor from 1966 to 1977. That year, he joined the staff at Henry E. Huntington Library in San Marino, California, as a senior research associate; three years later, he also started work at the California Institute of Technology, where he was a history professor from 1980 until his retirement as professor emeritus in 1995. Ridge was greatly interested in the history of the western states and was a former president of the Historical Society of Southern California and of the Western History Association; he also edited the Journal of American History from 1966 to 1977. Ridge edited, wrote, or cowrote over a dozen publications during his lifetime, including The American Adventure: A History (1964), Westward Expansion: A History of the American Frontier (fifth edition, 1982; sixth edition, 2001), History, Frontier and Section (1993), and The American West: The Reader (1999); he was also coauthor of the children's textbook Liberty and Union: A History of the United States (1973).



Los Angeles Times, October 8, 2003, p. B10.