Richard N. Current, Civil War Historian, Dies at 100


Richard N. Current, a Civil War historian whose award-winning scholarship helped demythologize Abraham Lincoln and raise Lincoln studies to a professional level of scholarly inquiry, died on Oct. 26 in Boston. He was 100.

The cause was complications of Parkinson’s disease, his wife, Marcia Ewing Current, said.

Professor Current had a wide-ranging portfolio as a historian. His first five books, written in the 1940s and early ’50s, included a history of the typewriter and a study of Daniel Webster. But over the next 40 years he wrote or edited a number of volumes about Lincoln and his times that elevated him to eminence in Civil War studies, and by the mid-’60s he had joined David Herbert Donald and Don E. Fehrenbacher as groundbreaking leaders of a new, more scrupulous and objective generation in Lincoln scholarship.


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