Robert A. East (1909-2001)
Hans L. Trefousse, February 2002
Professor Robert A. East, longtime specialist for economic, colonial, and revolutionary history at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, died at York, Maine, after a brief illness on July 28, 2001. Born in Lima, Ohio, in 1909, he was married to the late Elizabeth Paddock, and is survived by a son, Frank Paddock East, of Essex, New York; a daughter, Elsie East Mooney, of Southbury, Connecticut; and three grandsons. East earned his BA at Williams College in 1931 and his PhD at Columbia University in 1938. He received the Dunning Prize of the AHA in 1938 for his book Business Enterprise in the American Revolutionary Era. Other works of his include John Quincy Adams, the Critical Years, 1785–1794 (1962) and Connecticut Loyalists (1974). He was the founder of the Program for Loyalist Studies and Publications, an international organization sponsored by the American Antiquarian Society, the City University of New York, the University of London, and the University of New Brunswick. After teaching at Columbia University from 1934 to 1936 and Kansas State Teachers College at Emporia in 1937, he joined the specialist staff of the newly founded National Archives (1937–1940) before starting his decades-long career (instructor to professor of history) at Brooklyn College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He retired in 1977, but continued to supervise the work of the Loyalist program, and moved to Ogunquit, Maine, where he resided until his death.
—Hans L. Trefousse, emeritus distinguished professor of history,
Brooklyn College and Graduate Center, CUNY