John Higham, historian and professor at The Johns Hopkins University, was born in Jamaica, N.Y. in 1920. Higham received the B.A. from Hopkins in 1941 and the master's from the University of Wisconsin in 1942. After service as historian for the 12th Air Force in World War II, he returned to Wisconsin and completed his doctorate work in 1949. Dr. Higham taught at Rutgers, Columbia University, U.C.L.A., and the University of Michigan before being appointed to the faculty at Hopkins in 1971. In 1975, Dr. Higham was named to the John Martin Vincent Chair in History at Hopkins, a position he held until his retirement as professor emeritus in 1989. Dr. Higham's principal field of interest was American social and intellectual history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Dr. Higham was the author of many books that led to reconsiderations in the area of 19th-century intellectual history. One of his works, Strangers in the Land: Patterns of American Nativism, 1860- 1925, (1955) won the Dunning Prize of the American Historical Society (1956) and marked the beginning of an important shift in the analysis of immigration and movements to restrict immigration in the United States. His monograph, History, (1965) added a social dimension to subsequent publications on American historiography. An article by Dr. Higham dealing with the topic of multicultural education was included in the July 28, 1993 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education and titled "Class has ceased to excite us, but the politics of race live on."
Dr. Higham held offices in many professional organizations and was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1972.
John Higham died in July 2003.