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In Memoriam: William J. Rorabaugh

Updated: Aug 29, 2023

A message from Scott C. Martin, Professor of History and American Culture Studies and History Department Chair at Bowling Green State University: 


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Bill Rorabaugh, has passed away.  Bill has been a consistent supporter of ADHS, and a fixture at our biennial meeting. Bill took his undergraduate degree at Stanford, and his PhD from UC Berkeley in 1976.  One of the “Class of ’79,” Bill pioneered the field of alcohol history with his classic The Alcoholic Republic: An American Tradition.  He went on to publish seven books and numerous journal articles, as well as coauthoring a U.S. History textbook.  His research interests broadened during his career, from craft apprentices to JFK to the 1960s, but he periodically returned to alcohol and drugs history, notably in his discussion of drugs and the 1960s counterculture in American Hippies (2015) and in his recent Prohibition:  A Concise History (2018).  Bill stayed close to ADHS as well, as a loyal member and president of the society in 2006.


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