Morison, Samuel (1887 - 1976)

Genre: Non-Fiction

Samuel Eliot Morison was born and raised in Boston, MA and attended Noble's School at Boston, St. Paul's at Concord NH and graduated from Harvard (BA, 1908; PhD, 1912). He taught at Harvard, UC Berkeley, at Oxford, England.

He sailed in a masted ship to Spain and back in order to get the background information for his biography of Christopher Columbus -- Admiral of the Ocean Sea -- and, during WWII, he served in the US Navy in order to tell its history from the inside, by taking part in the operations and writing about them after. He served on several ships and saw action in the South Pacific, released to inactive duty in September of 1946.

He won many awards, including the Legion of Merit, for his exceptional service as historian of the Navy and President Johnson awarded him the Medal of Freedom. He also earned two Pulitzer Prizes and honorary degrees from many distinguished colleges and universities.

He died in Boston in 1976 and his ashes are buried at Northeast Harbor.

Selected Bibliography

  • The Maritime History of Massachusetts, 1783-1860 (1921)
  • Builders of the Bay Colony (1930)
  • the Development of Harvard University Since the Inauguration of President Eliot, 1869-1929 (1930)
  • The Founding of Harvard College
  • Harvard College in the Seventeenth Century (1936)
  • Admiral of the Ocean Sea: A Life of Christopher Columbus (1942)
  • History of the United States Naval Operations in World War II (1947-1962)
  • the Ropemakers of Plymouth: A History of the Plymouth Cordage Company, 1824-1949 (1950)
  • The Pilgrim Fathers: Their Significance in History (1951)
  • By Land and By Sea; Essays and Addresses (1953)
  • Christopher Columbus, Mariner (1955)
  • Strategy and Compromise (1958)
  • Builders of the Bay Colony (1958)
  • John Paul Jones: A Sailor's Biography (1959)
  • The Story of Mount Desert Island, Maine (1960)
  • The Growth of the American Republic (with Henry Steele Commager) (1962)
  • One Boy's Boston, 1887-1901 (1962)
  • The Two Ocean War: A Short History of the United States Navy in the Second World War (1963)
  • the Caribbean as Columbus Saw It (with Mauricio Obregon) (1964)
  • Vistas of History (1964)
  • Spring Tides (1965)
  • the Oxford History of the American People (1965)
  • "Old Bruin", Commodore Matthew C. Perry, 1794-1858: The American Naval Officer Who Helped Found Liberia (1967)
  • Harrison Gray Otis, 1765-1848: The Urbane Federalist 1969
  • The European Discovery of America (1971-74)
  • Samuel De Champlain, Father of New France (1972)
  • Sailor Historian: The Best of Samuel Eliot Morison (ed. by Emily Morison Beck) (1977)