Frank Freidel

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Frank Burt Freidel (1916 – January 25, 1993) was the first major biographer of former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and one of the first scholars to work in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Papers at Hyde Park, New York.


He was born and raised in Porterville, Ca. He received his B.A. (1937) and M.A. (1939) from the University of Southern California. He then pursued his Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, under the direction of William B. Hesseltine, and graduated in 1942. His contemporaries at Wisconsin included Richard N. Current and T. Harry Williams who later collectively authored with Freidel a U.S. history textbook, A History of the United States, dedicated to Hesseltine.[1] His first academic appointment was in 1941, to Shurtleff College.[2] He married twice, divorced once, and had seven children. He died in Belmont, Massachusetts. He joined the faculty of Harvard University in 1955, and remained there until his retirement in 1981. In 1972 he was appointed Charles Warren Professor of History. He served on the Department of the Army Historical Advisory Committee from 1973 to 1976. Following his retirement from Harvard, Freidel joined the department of history at the University of Washington, where he was Bullitt Professor of History from 1981 to 1986. Prior to Harvard, he also taught at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Oxford University, and Stanford University.

Scholarly Impact[edit]

Awards and Prizes[edit]


  • Franklin D. Roosevelt: The Apprenticeship (1952)
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt: The Ordeal (1954)
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt: The Triumph (1956)
  • Splendid Little War (1958)
  • A History of the United States 2 volumes (1959)
  • America in the Twentieth Century (1960)
  • F.D.R. and the South (1966)
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt: Launching the New Deal (1973)
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt: A Rendezvous with Destiny (1990)


  1. ^ Carl V. Harris, "Redeemers vs. Agrarians?" in John B. Boles and Bethany L. Johnson, Origins of the New South Fifty Years Later: The Continuing Influence of a Historical Classic (LSU Press, 2003): 98.
  2. ^ "In Memoriam: Frank Freidel," Perspectives (April 1993)
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