In Memoriam

Eric F. Goldman

AHA Staff, May 1989

Eric F. Goldman, 73, leading authority on twentieth-century American history, professor emeritus, Princeton University, and a former aide and adviser to President Lyndon B. Johnson, died February 19, 1989. Dr. Goldman was probably best known for his 1952 book Rendezvous with Destiny: A History of Modern American Reform, which won Columbia University's Bancroft Prize for "distinguished writing in American history." He was also author of the best-selling The Crucial Decade, America 1945–55. The experience of working as special adviser to President Lyndon Johnson was recounted in The Tragedy of Lyndon Johnson.

Dr. Goldman grew up in Baltimore and attended The Johns Hopkins University where, he received his master's and doctoral degrees in history by the age of 22. He served on the faculty at Johns Hopkins until 1942, when he became an assistant professor at Princeton University. For years his Princeton course on modern American history was one of the most popular at the university.

From 1959 to 1967, he was moderator of the NBC television show The Open Mind, and had written for scholarly journals and for such magazines as Time, Harper's, National Geographic, Holiday, Life, Saturday Review, and The New York Times Magazine. During the 1950s he lectured in Europe and India under the auspices of the State Department and in 1976 became the first U.S.representative in the Canadian cultural exchange program.

President of the Society of American Historians from 1962 to 1969, he lived in Princeton since his retirement from the university faculty in 1985.