Robert Vance Bruce
Robert V. Bruce, Ph.D., 84, retired professor and author, died January 15, 2008 in Olympia. Dr. Bruce was born on December 19, 1923 in Malden, Massachusetts. He graduated from Malden High School in 1941 and entered the Army in 1943 serving until 1946.
In 1945, Dr. Bruce received his Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Hampshire. After his service in World War II, he attended Boston University where he received his Master's degree in History in 1947 and his Ph.D. in History in 1953.
During these years he also served as an instructor at the University of Bridgeport, a History Master at Lawrence Academy in Groton, Massachusetts, and a Research Assistant to Benjamin P. Thomas.
In 1955 Dr. Bruce returned to Boston University and taught history as an instructor, 1955-1958; as an Assistant Professor, 1958-1960; as an Associate Professor, 1960-1966, as a Professor, 1966-1984 and finally as Emeritus Professor, 1984-1991. He also had the opportunity to be a visiting Associate Professor at the University of Wisconsin, 1962-1963.
Dr. Bruce traveled to many parts of the world, including China, Japan, Russia, Italy, Greece, France, Great Britain, and Peru.
When he wasn't teaching or traveling, he was researching and writing. He published four books and numerous articles, professional papers, contributions to published symposia, reference works and book reviews.
The following is a list of his major publications:
1956 - Lincoln and the Tools of War.
1959 -1977: Year of Violence.
1973 - Bell: Alexander Graham Bell and the Conquest of Solitude; this book was chosen one of fifty notable books of 1974, by the American Library Association and also one of five finalists for the National Book Award in biography.
1981- Lincoln and the Riddle of Death (pamphlet).
1987- The Launching of Modern American Science.
In 1988 Dr. Bruce was awarded the prestigious Pulitzer Prize in History for his book, The Launching of Modern American Science.
During his career he enjoyed the friendship of many of his colleagues and students. They kept in touch and were always anxious to discuss history, politics, their own careers and the inspiration Dr. Bruce had given them.
Dr. Bruce received many awards and recognitions. Among them were:
Guggenheim Fellow, 1957-1958.
Huntington Library Fellow, 1966.
Fellow of the Society of American Historians, 1974
President of The Lincoln Group of Boston 1969-1974
R. Gerald McMurtry Lecturer on Abraham Lincoln, 1981
Fortenbaugh Lecturer on the Civil War, Gettysburg College, 1989
Along with his distinguished career, he was also a loving brother to his sister Marilyn and a wonderful advisor and teacher to his two nieces, Constance and Deborah. His unending wit and satire along with the quality of his friendships and the depth of his knowledge will be remembered and missed by all of us who knew and loved him.
Condolences may be left online for the family by clicking on "View Guestbook" below.
Copy and paste the web address below to the internet toolbar to read an article published about Dr. Bruce in the Boston Globe January 30, 2008
Date: 9/13/2012 12:11:30 PM
Message: Thank You,
Date: 5/4/2008 10:41:16 PM
From: Kirsten Butler (Social Services @ Evergreen)
I think you know how very special your uncle was to me. He touched my heart. So smart, witty and yet humble. O, what a joy it was to get his signature on his book! I shall treasure that always. We were all blessed to have gotten to know him and he is missed still.....
Date: 3/4/2008 3:15:53 PM
From: Hanna Beck (nurse at evergreen)
Message: He brightened many of my work days with his wit and sarcasm. His conversations were always educational and enlightening. There were many times he would bring a smile to my face. Just like now as I remember him.
Date: 2/22/2008 9:40:50 AM
From: Julie Godden
Message: I was sorry to learn of Dr. Bob's passing. Please accept my condolences.
(next door neighbor)
Date: 2/6/2008 6:16:34 PM
From: Maia O'Brien, PT at Evergreen
Message: Connie, I am thinking about you and your family and your wonderful uncle Mr. Bruce. So glad we had the chance to get to know you all. Best wishes.
Date: 1/27/2008 10:26:09 AM
Message: Robbie was a very loving and caring uncle. He was always there when either Connie or I and our families needed him. He was loved dearly by all of us. We will miss him.