Richard Bushman

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Richard Bushman addresses the John Whitmer Historical Association, 27 September 2011.

Richard Lyman Bushman (born June 20, 1931) is an American historian and Gouverneur Morris Professor of History emeritus at Columbia University. He was the Howard W. Hunter Visiting Professor in Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University from 2008 to 2011.[1][2][3] He also serves as one of three general editors of the Joseph Smith Papers.[4]


Richard Bushman was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, the son of a department store executive; and he was reared in Portland, Oregon. Bushman received his AB, AM, and his PhD in the History of American Civilization from Harvard University, where he studied with distinguished early American historian Bernard Bailyn. Bushman taught at Harvard University, Brigham Young University, Boston University, and the University of Delaware before joining the history faculty at Columbia. During the 2007-08 academic year, Bushman served as Howard W. Hunter Visiting Professor in Mormon Studies at Claremont Graduate University and held a Huntington Library fellowship. Bushman married fellow historian Claudia Lauper Bushman on August 19, 1955; and they are the parents of four sons (Richard, Karl, Serge, and Ben) and two daughters (Clarissa and Margaret).

Bushman is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He interrupted his undergraduate studies at Harvard to serve as a missionary[5] in New England and Atlantic Canada, and he has held various positions within the LDS Church, including Seminary teacher, bishop, stake president, and Stake Patriarch.


Bushman's scholarship includes studies of early American social, cultural, and political history, American religious history, and the history of the LDS Church, and his books have won numerous awards. In 1968, Bushman's From Puritan to Yankee: Character and Social Order in Connecticut, 1690-1765 won the prestigious Bancroft Prize, an award given by the trustees of Columbia University for the year's best book on American history. Bushman has also received the Phi Alpha Theta prize, and Evans Biography Awards, administered by the Mountain West Center for Regional Studies at Utah State University. In 2006, Bushman received the Mormon History Association's annual 2006 Best Book award for his biography Joseph Smith: Rough Stone Rolling. Bushman has held Guggenheim, Huntington, National Humanities Center, and National Endowment for Humanities fellowships; and he served as president of the Mormon History Association (1985–1986).[6]


See also


  1. Gordon, Larry (2007-10-30). "Mormon-studies professorship is California’s first". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 
  2. "Richard L. Bushman named as Hunter Visiting Professor in Mormon Studies at Claremont". Meridian Magazine]. 2007. Retrieved 2008-09-09. 
  3. Mauss, Armand (Spring 2011). "Farewell, Richard and Claudia" (PDF). Claremont Mormon Studies Newsletter (4): 3. Retrieved 2015-06-08. 
  4. Joseph Smith Papers website
  5. See "My Faith" in Bushman, Believing History: Latter-day Saint Essays (New York: Columbia University Press, 2004), 20-29. In the essay, Bushman notes how he went on his LDS mission as an agnostic but after three months could say "with conviction that I knew the Book of Mormon was right." (22)
  6. "Past MHA Presidents". Mormon History Association. Retrieved 2008-07-22. 

Further reading

  • Grant Underwood et al. "A Retrospective on the Scholarship of Richard Bushman," Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought (2011) 44#3 pp 1+. online edition

External links