Samuel Eliot Morison

Samuel Eliot Morison's picture

Samuel Eliot Morison, Rear Admiral, U.S. Naval Reserve (1887-1976) was an American historian noted for his works of maritime history that were both authoritative and highly readable.

Morison received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1912, and taught history at the university for 40 years.

In 1942, President Roosevelt commissioned Morison to write a history of United States naval operations in World War II, which was published in 15 volumes between 1947 and 1962.

Morison won Pulitzer Prizes for Admiral of the Ocean Sea (1942), a biography of Christopher Columbus, and John Paul Jones: A Sailor's Biography (1959). He ralso wrote the popular Oxford History of the American People (1965), and co-authored the classic textbook The Growth of the American Republic (1930) with Henry Steele Commager.

Over the course of his distinguished career, Morison received eleven honorary doctoral degrees, including degrees from Harvard University (1936), Columbia University (1942), Yale University (1949), and the University of Oxford (1951). Morison also garnered numerous literary prizes, military honors, and national awards from both foreign countries and the United States, including two Pulitzer Prizes, two Bancroft Prizes, the Balzan Prize, the Legion of Merit, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Articles by this Contributor

February 1963

At 10:24 on the morning of June 4, 1942, the Japanese seemed to have won the Battle of Midway—and with it the Pacific war. By 10:30 things were different

December 1955

The discoverer of the New World was first and foremost a sailor