Martin Ridge (historian)

Martin Ridge (May 7, 1923 - Sept. 22, 2003) was an American historian and director of research at the Huntington Library.[1][2] He is particularly known for his 1949 "Westward expansion: a history of the American frontier" co-authored with Ray Allen Billington.[3][4]


Born and raised in Chicago, Ridge wanted to become an elementary school teacher, and obtained his BA at the Chicago Teachers College, now Chicago State University in 1943. After serving in the United States Merchant Marine in World War II, he continued his studies at the Northwestern University, where he obtained his PhD in 1951 under Ray Allen Billington with the thesis, entitled Ignatius Donnelly: The Portrait of a Politician, in 1962 revised, expanded and published.[1]

After graduation in 1951 Ridge started his academic career as lecturer at Westminster College. In 1955 he moved to the San Diego State University, and from 1966 to 1977 he taught at the Indiana University. In 1977 he move to Los Angeles County, where he was appointed director of research at Huntington Library, and joined the California Institute of Technology faculty. Ridge served at Huntington Library until his retirement in 1993, and at Caltech until 1995.[1]

Ridge was editor of the Journal of American History (JAH) from 1966 to 1978. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowships in 1965. He co-founded the Western History Association in 1961 and served as its president.[1]

Selected publications

Articles, a selection:


  1. 1 2 3 4 Susan Wladaver-Morgan. "In Memoriam: Martin Ridge (1923-2003)," in Perspectives on History, March 2004.
  2. Atkins, Annette. "A Curious Westerner: Martin Ridge, 1923-2003." (2004): 119-119.
  3. Vaughan, Alden T. New England Frontier: Puritans and Indians, 1620-1675. University of Oklahoma Press, 1995.
  4. Dunaway, Wilma A. The first American frontier: Transition to capitalism in Southern Appalachia, 1700-1860. Univ of North Carolina Press, 1996.

External links

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