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Paul Herman Buck (August 25, 1899 – 1978) was an American historian and a Pulitzer Prize winner. He won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1938 and became the first Provost of Harvard University in 1945.


Buck was born on August 25, 1899 at Columbus, Ohio. He received a Bachelor's degree (1921) and an MA (1922) from Ohio State University. In 1922 he published his first book Evolution of the National Parks System. He went to Harvard University for his graduate studies, and received a Master's degree in 1924. After studying for one year in Britain and France under a Sheldon traveling fellowship, he joined Harvard as an instructor in history in 1926. He received a PhD degree from Harvard in 1935.[1] In 1936 he became assistant professor of American history at Harvard. He was appointed Associate Dean of Faculty in 1938, Associate Professor in 1939, and Dean of Faculty in 1942 at Harvard.[2] On October 15, 1945, he became Harvard's first Provost.[3]

He died in 1978.[2]

Pulitzer Prize and other work on history[]

Buck won the Pulitzer Prize for History in 1938 for The Road to Reunion, 1865-1900. The book is about the history of politics and government during the Reconstruction era.[2]

While he was a history professor at Harvard, he was involved in extensive research at the university library and other libraries in the East and Southeast, which resulted in his study of the Reconstruction era in the American South.[4]

Additionally, he published The Role of Education in American History in 1957 and Libraries & Universities: Addresses and Reports in 1964.[2]


  1. Fischer & Fischer (2002), pp. 31–2
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Brennan & Clarage (1999), p. 289
  3. "This month in Harvard history". Harvard University. October 23, 2008. Retrieved 2009-03-06. 
  4. Fischer & Fischer (2002), p. 32


  • Fischer, Heinz-Dietrich; Erika J. Fischer (2002). Complete biographical encyclopedia of Pulitzer Prize winners, 1917-2000. Munich, Germany: K. G. Saur. ISBN 3598301863. 
  • Brennan, Elizabeth A.; Elizabeth C. Clarage (1999). Who's who of Pulitzer Prize Winners. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 1573561118.