Paul F. Sharp

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Paul Sharp
Paul Frederick Sharp

(1918-01-19)January 19, 1918 [1]
DiedFebruary 19, 2009(2009-02-19) (aged 91)[1]
OccupationHistorian and educational administrator
Known forHistorical works on the Canadian-American West, and a distinguished record as a university president

Paul F. Sharp (January 19, 1918 – February 19, 2009[1]) was a professor and college administrator. He served as the 15th president of Hiram College from 1957 to 1965, the 3rd chancellor of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill from 1964 to 1965, president of Drake University, and the 9th president of the University of Oklahoma from 1971 to 1977.[2] Before his stint as a college administrator, Sharp was a professor of History at the University of Minnesota, Iowa State University and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.[1]

In addition to his achievements as an educational administrator, Sharp also made a significant contribution to the international history of the Great Plains and the Canadian-American West. This line of work is anchored by two books. The first is The Agrarian Revolt in Western Canada: A Survey Showing American Parallels,1948.[3] Although Agrarian Revolt later would be recognized as a pioneering work of scholarship crossing the Forty-Ninth Parallel, in its time it was little appreciated. American historians were indifferent to Canadian topics, while Canadian historians were preoccupied with their own, nationalistic interpretations. The second book is Whoop-Up Country: The Canadian-American West, 1865-1885, 1955.[4] Whoop-Up Country was well received, but Sharp, in retrospect, never thought reviewers and readers fully appreciated its revisionist cast. He intended the work to be a critical test, in the borderlands of Montana and Alberta, of Walter Prescott Webb's thesis of environmental determinism. Sharp concluded that Canadian national will, particularly the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railroad, was capable of overriding environment as a historical influence on the Canadian Prairies.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d "Dr. Paul F. Sharp". Norman Transcript. February 20, 2009. Archived from the original on July 27, 2014. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  2. ^ "Former OU chief Paul F. Sharp dies". The Oklahoman. February 20, 2009. Retrieved July 25, 2014.
  3. ^ Sharp, Paul F. (1948). The Agrarian Revolt in Western Canada: A Survey Showing American Parallels. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  4. ^ Sharp, Paul F. (1955). Whoop-Up Country: The Canadian-American West, 1865-1885. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
  5. ^ Isern, Thomas D., Ed.; Shepard, R. Bruce, Ed. (1990). "Paul F. Sharp" (PDF). Heritage of the Great Plains. 23: 4–19 – via Emporia State Institutional Repository Collection.
Preceded by
Henry Gadd Harmon
President of Drake University
Succeeded by
Wilbur C. Miller
Preceded by
John Herbert Hollomon Jr.
President of the University of Oklahoma
Succeeded by
William S. Banowsky