Thomas C. Cochran (historian)

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Thomas Childs Cochran
Born April 29, 1902
New York City, U.S.
Died May 2, 1999 (1999-05-03) (aged 97)
Haverford, Pennsylvania, U.S.
Alma mater New York University
University of Pennsylvania
Occupation Historian

Thomas Childs Cochran (April 29, 1902 – May 2, 1999) was an American economic historian. He was the author of several books. He is considered a pioneer in that field.[1]

Early life[edit]

Thomas C. Cochran was born on April 29, 1902 in Manhattan. He received his bachelor's and master's degrees from New York University before obtaining his doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania.


Cochran taught at N.Y.U. for almost twenty-five years before joining the University of Pennsylvania in 1950, where he became Benjamin Franklin Professor of History, a position from which he retired in 1972. He was also president of the American Historical Association in that year.

In the mid-20th century, Cochran was one of the most significant economic historians of the United States, producing The Age of Enterprise (1961), an important work on the history of American capitalism. Throughout his career, he attempted to examine the history of business not merely as a narrowly economic topic, but also as a cultural one. He opened up new methodological approaches and areas of research in the field of economic history.[2]

Personal life and death[edit]

Cochran was married three times. He died on May 2, 1999 at the Quadrangle Retirement Center in Haverford, Pennsylvania.


  • Railroad Leaders: The Business Mind in Action (1953)
  • The American Business System: A Historical Perspective, 1900-1955 (1957)
  • A Basic History of American Business (1959)
  • The Age of Enterprise (1961)
  • Railroad Leaders 1845-1890: The Business Mind in Action (1965)
  • Business in American Life (1972)
  • Frontiers of Change: Early Industrialism in America (1981)
  • Challenges to American Values: Society, Business and Religion (1985)


External links[edit]