175 Makers of History: Dumas Malone

Dumas Malone 1910C 36H
Historian; Pulitzer Prize Winner

Dumas Malone

When Dumas Malone was a young professor at the University of Virginia in the 1920s, he decided to write a book about the school's founder, Thomas Jefferson. He postponed this when he became editor of the Dictionary of American Biography and subsequently director of the Harvard University Press. Then in 1943, he began working on what would be a six-volume biography of the United States' third president.

Jefferson and His Time was written over thirty-eight years and earned Malone the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for history. It remains the definitive work on Jefferson's life. Malone also would teach at Columbia University and back at the University of Virginia.

In 1983, two years after the publication of volume six, The Sage of Monticello, Malone received the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In 1984, the Society of American Historians awarded him the first Bruce Catton Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the writing of American history.