He was the brother of architect Juan O'Gorman and the son of painter and mining engineer Cecil Crawford O'Gorman who arrived in Mexico from Ireland in 1895. He was also the grandson of Charles O'Gorman, the first British consul to Mexico City and later married a Mexican citizen. He graduated in Law (1928) from Escuela Libre de Derecho and with doctorates in Philosophy (1948) and in History (1951) from the UNAM where he was also a faculty member. He worked for the General National Archive between 1938 and 1952 and wrote several books between 1951 and 1986. He became a member of the Mexican Academy of the Spanish Language in 1969 and of the Mexican Academy of the Corresponding History of the Real of Madrid,[clarification needed] corporation of which he became of director of from 1972 to 1987. He resigned after disagreements over concepts such as the "discovery of America", "encounter between two worlds", "cultural fusion" (or "natural mixing"), names he rejected and instead preferred the terms "empowerment", "domination" and others more according with history.
Studies and Docency
He studied Civil Rights at the Escuela Libre de Derecho, graduating in 1928, and practiced this professional activity from 1928 to 1937. Since 1938 he worked in the Archivo General de la Nación (General National Archive) in Mexico. Published his first works and studies in the "Alcancía" along with his close friend Justino Fernández. In 1940 his acknowledgements and credentials led him into teaching History at the Philosophy faculty of the Mexico City College. In 1948 he achieved a Master in Philosophy and in 1951 a PhD in History with the summa cum laude honorific distinction at the Universidad Autónoma de Mexico, where he met and kept contact with distinguished Mexican intellectuals and Spanish refugees such as José Gaos, people who would influence him greatly.
He was a great admirer of authors such as José Ortega y Gasset, Wilheim Dilthey, Benedeto Croce, Martin Heidegger, among other history writers who kept disagreement with former Mexican historiography, which was full of extremism and with a leaning towards new, unedited documents.
- Premio Nacional de Letras in (1974)
- Premio Historia Rafael Heliodoro Valle (1983)
- Premio UNAM a la Docencia (1986).
- Member of the Academia Mexicana de la Historia (1964).
- Member of the Academia Mexicana de la Lengua (1969).
- Received honoris causa Ph. Ds at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México y de la Universidad Iberoamericana.
- Emeritus professor of the Sistema Nacional de Investigadores and the UNAM y member of the Junta de Gobierno.
- Led the Academia Mexicana de la Historia (1972–1987).
- Destierro de Sombras (1986)
- La incógnita de la llamada "Historia de los indios de la Nueva España", atribuida a Fray Toribio Motolinia (1982)
- México el trauma de su historia (1977)
- Guías de las actas del cabildo de la ciudad de México. Siglo XVI (1970)
- 50 años de revolución (1962)
- La supervivencia política novohispana (1961)
- Invención de América (1958)
- Coautor de Precedentes y sentido de la revolución de Ayutla (1954)
- Fundamentos de la historia de América (1951)
- Dos concepciones de la tarea histórica (1951)
- "Vásquez, J. DON EDMUNDO O'GORMAN." (PDF). Op.cit. p.688
- "Matute, A. La genealogía de un historiológo." (PDF).
- "Hale, C. EDMUNDO O'GORMAN Y LA HISTORIA NACIONAL.".Published in June 2000. Op.cit. p. 14
- "Vásquez, J. DON EDMUNDO O'GORMAN." (PDF). Op.cit. p.690
- Profile at the Mexican Academy of the Spanish Language (Spanish)
- http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utlac/00047/lac-00047.html (Spanish)
- Irish-Mexican brothers: Edmundo and Juan O'Gorman at the Society for Irish Latin American Studies.