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Russell Weigley
Born 1930
Reading, Pennsylvania
Died 2004

Russell Frank Weigley, PhD (1930–2004), was the Distinguished University Professor of History at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and a noted military historian. His research and teaching interests centered on American and world military history, World War II, and the American Civil War.

Weigley was born in Reading, Pennsylvania in 1930. He attended the University of Pennsylvania, and wrote his dissertation under Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, Roy F. Nichols. It was published as Quartermaster General of the Union Army: A Biography of M.C. Meigs (Columbia University Press, 1959). After receiving his degree, Weigley taught at Penn from 1956 to 1958, and from 1958 to 1962 at Drexel University. Then he joined the faculty at Temple as an associate professor and remained until his retirement in 1999 as Distinguished University Professor. The school considered him the heart and soul of the History department. He also was a visiting professor at Dartmouth College and the U.S. Army War College at Carlisle, PA.

Weigley's graduate teaching emphasized military history defined in a broadly comprehensive way, including operational, combat history but also extending to the larger issues of war and its significance; to the history of ideas about war, peace, and the armed forces; and to the place of the soldier in the state and in society.

Weigley was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship, 1969-70. He received the Athenaeum of Philadelphia Award for Non-Fiction in 1983 and the Samuel Eliot Morison Prize of the American Military Institute in 1989. His Age of Battles received the Distinguished Book Award of the Society for Military History for 1992 for a work in non-American military history. He has served as President of the Pennsylvania Historical Society and the American Military Institute. In recognition of his scholarly achievements, Weigley was named Distinguished University Professor at Temple in 1985.

Weigley died in Philadelphia in March 2004.

Selected works[]

  • The American Way of War: A History of United States Military Strategy and Policy (1973).
  • Towards an American Army: Military Thought from Washington to Marshall (1962).
  • Eisenhower's Lieutenants: The Campaign of France and Germany, 1944-1945 (1981).
  • History of the United States Army
  • The Age of Battles: The Quest for Decisive Warfare from Breitenfeld to Waterloo (1991).
  • A Great Civil War: A Military and Political History, 1861 - 1865 (2000).