We were sad to learn of the death of Robert F. Durden on March 4. Durden, Professor Emeritus of American History at Duke University, was the author of a trilogy of books with Duke University Press which constitute a history of the Duke family in Durham, North Carolina.
The Dukes of Durham, 1865-1929 (1987) is a history of North Carolina tobacco industrialist Washington Duke and two of his sons, Benjamin Newton Duke and James Buchanan Duke, the founder of Duke University. The Launching of Duke University, 1924-1949 (1993) tells the story of the early years of the university first organized as Trinity College. Lasting Legacy to the Carolinas: The Duke Endowment, 1924-1994 (1998) is an examination of the history of that foundation and the ways in which it has—and has not—followed James B. Duke’s original design.
Durden taught history at Duke University for 49 years. His papers can be found in the Rubenstein Library. We offer our condolences to his family and friends.