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Zilversmit, Arthur 1932–2005

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born July 5, 1932, in The Hague, Netherlands; died of kidney and bowel failure, August 22, 2005, in Vorhees, NJ. Historian, educator, and author. Zilversmit was a retired professor of history at Lake Forest College who was noted as an innovative teacher and authority on African-American history. Brought to America by his family at age six to avoid the German invasion of Holland, he grew up in New York City and attended Cornell University. After graduating with a B.A. in 1954, he went on to finish an M.A. at Harvard University the next year. While teaching at Williams College, he earned a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1962. Zilversmit joined the Lake Forest faculty in 1966 as an assistant professor of history. He was promoted to full professor by 1973, was a department chair for a time, and was named distinguished service professor of history in 1994. An accomplished teacher, he developed new courses for his students, including the college's African-American history curriculum, and was awarded an Outstanding Teacher Award. He retired as professor emeritus in 1998. Zilversmit published two books on history, The First Emancipation: The Abolition of Slavery in the North (1967) and the edited Lincoln on Black and White: A Documentary History (1971), as well as the work Changing Schools: Progressive Education Theory and Practice, 1930–1960 (1993).



Chicago Tribune, September 5, 2005, section 4, p. 10.


Lake Forest College Web site, (January 6, 2006).

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Zilversmit, Arthur 1932–2005

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