Remi Nadeau

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Remi A. Nadeau (August 30, 1920 – June 6, 2016)[1][2] was an American historian.[3] He earned a bachelor's degree from Stanford University and a PhD from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

Born in Los Angeles, Remi Allen Nadeau was the son of the late Marguerite and Remi E. Nadeau and the great great grandson of “old” Remi Nadeau from the 1870s – known as the “King of the Desert Freighters.” Remi Allen was a fifth generation Californian, a well-known historian and author, a descendant of one of California’s pioneers, a devoted husband to his wife Margaret and father to three children. He died in the early morning hours of June 6 in Santa Barbara, California of natural causes at the age of 95.

Remi A. Nadeau's great, great grandfather Remi Nadeau, was an early French-Canadian emigrant to Los Angeles. In 1861, "old" Remi Nadeau established the first mule-team freight transportation service crossing the Mojave Desert to serve mining areas such as Cerro Gordo and Calico.[4] After the railroads put mule-team freight companies out of business, Nadeau turned to other ventures in the Los Angeles area, including a beet sugar refinery and a hotel.

Remi attended University High School in West Los Angeles and was president of the “boys-league” of his school while also becoming an Eagle Scout. As a college student, Remi majored in American and World History at Stanford University and served as the president of Theta Chi, his college fraternity. He received his Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in 1942.

Remi entered into World War II as a commissioned officer in the US Army Air-Corp through ROTC. He served with the 320th Bomb Group, flying 23 combat missions in the B-26 Marauder as a reconnaissance photographer, toggle bombardier and tail gunner. Additionally, he served as one of the 320th Group Intelligence Officers, the outfit’s newspaper editor and a gunnery-training officer. He saw action in North Africa and the Mediterranean and was also stationed in England and post-war occupied Germany. He completed his military service to his country in 1946, with the rank of Major.

Once he returned home after the war, he met the love of his life, Margaret G. Smith of Santa Monica. They began a courtship and married in June 1947 in Santa Monica, California.

In 1946, he completed his first manuscript, which became The City Makers published by Doubleday. This best selling book chronicled the various historical figures that built Los Angeles, including his great, great grandfather “old” Remi Nadeau. City Maker’s launched Remi Allen’s successful career as a California historian. Over his lifetime, Remi wrote multiple articles and booklets regarding the history of California, the Great West and mid-twentieth century European events. His nine books include: The City Makers, The Water Seekers, Los Angeles: From Mission to Modern City, California: The New Society, Ghost Towns & Mining Camps of California, The Real Joaquin Murrieta, Fort Laramie and the Sioux, Stalin Churchill & Roosevelt Divide Europe and The Silver Seekers.

Remi’s professional writing career began at The Santa Monica Outlook and The San Diego Union as an editorial writer. Later, he became an executive in public relations departments for many international corporations, which included Atlantic Richfield, North American Aviation, Collins Radio, Rockwell International and Memorex. Additionally he was appointed as the special assistant to the US Attorney General where he wrote multiple speeches for John Mitchell and Richard Kleindienst. He also wrote several statements on behalf of President Richard Nixon regarding DOJ policies and issues.

After retirement from corporate life in 1980, Remi earned a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in History at the University of California in Santa Barbara. During his retired life, Remi was a member in such organizations as The Westerner’s, The Santa Barbara Club, The Cosmopolitan Club, and The Eastern California Historical Society, as well as The First Families of California. He and his wife Margaret enjoyed traveling the globe – exploring many countries not often visited by most Americans. They regularly attended services at the All-Saints by-the-Sea Episcopal Church of Montecito.

Remi is survived by his wife of almost 69 years – Margaret G. Nadeau – a local award-winning plein-air artist and his three cherished children: Christine, Barbara and Bob. Those who knew Remi respected him not only as a man of achievement and contribution, but also as a man of integrity and principle. Remi loved his family who looked to him as an example of a life well lived.


  • City Makers (1948)
  • The Water Seekers (1950)
  • Los Angeles: From Mission to Modern City (1960)
  • Ghost Towns and Mining Camps of California (1965)[3]
  • California --- The New Society (1963)
  • Fort Laramie and the Sioux Indians (1967)
  • The Real Joaquin Murieta (1974)
  • Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt Divide Europe (1990)
  • The Silver Seekers (2003)


  1. ^ "Nadeau, Remi A. OAC". social archive. Retrieved 14 October 2013. 
  2. ^ Staff (2016-06-16). "Remi A. Nadeau Obituary". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-10-15. 
  3. ^ a b JONATHAN KIRSCH (October 3, 2001). "Poignant Images From Sagebrush Country". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-01-11. The California Gold Rush ..."On doors and counters, the posted notice 'G.T.C.' meant only one thing," wrote historian Remi Nadeau, "Gone to California." 
  4. ^ Gudde, Erwin G. (1949–1969). California Place Names. Berkeley, California: UC Press. p. 217. ISBN 0520015746. 

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