Bernard Bailyn, whose historical work centers on early American history, the American Revolution, and the Anglo-American world in the pre-industrial era, is Adams University Professor and James Duncan Phillips Professor of Early American History, emeritus, at Harvard University. He also serves as a Senior Fellow in the Society of Fellows and is the Director of the International Seminar on the History of the Atlantic World.
Professor Bailyn has taught at Harvard since 1953, becoming Professor in 1961 and Winthrop Professor of History in 1966, a position he held until 1981, when he became the first Adams University Professor. He served as editor-in-chief of the John Harvard Library from 1962 to 1970, as co-editor of the journal Perspectives in American History, 1967-77, 1984-86, and as Director of the Charles Warren Center for Studies in American History, 1983-1994.
During World War II he served in the Army Signal Corps and in the Army Security Agency.
Professor Bailyn is a member of the American Historical Association (President, 1981), the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the National Academy of Education. He is a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy and the Royal Historical Society, and a Foreign Member of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Academia Europaea, and the Mexican Academy of History and Geography. He was a Trustee of the Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton, 1989-94.
He is the author of The New England Merchants in the Seventeenth Century (1955); Massachusetts Shipping, 1697-1714 (with Lotte Bailyn 1959); Education in the Forming of American Society (1960); The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution (1967), for which he received the Pulitzer and Bancroft Prizes in 1968; The Origins of American Politics (1968); The Ordeal of Thomas Hutchinson (1974), which was awarded the National Book Award in History in 1975; The Peopling of British North America: An Introduction (1986); Voyagers to the West (1986), which won the Pulitzer Prize in History, the Saloutos Award of the Immigration History Society, and distinguished book awards from the Society of Colonial wars and the Society of the Cincinnati; Faces of Revolution (1990); On the Teaching and Writing of History (1994); To Begin the World Anew (2003); and Atlantic History: Concept and Contours (2005). He is also the editor of Pamphlets of the American Revolution, the first volume of which, published in 1965, was awarded the Faculty Prize of the Harvard University Press for that year, and editor of The Apologia of Robert Keayne (1965) and the two-volume Debate on the Constitution (1993). He is co-author of The Great Republic (1977); and co-editor of The Intellectual Migration, Europe and America, 1930-1960 (1969), Law in American History (1972), The Press and the American Revolution (1980), Strangers within the Realm: Cultural Margins of the First British Empire (1991) and Soundings in Atlantic History: Latent Structures and Intellectual Currents, 1500-1830 (2009).
Born in Hartford, Connecticut, Professor Bailyn received the A.B. degree from Williams College in 1945, and the A.M. (1947) and Ph.D. (1953) degrees from Harvard. He holds the L.H.D. from Lawrence University, Bard College, Clark University, Yale University, Grinnell College, Trinity College, Manhattanville College, Dartmouth College, the University of Chicago, and the College of William and Mary, and the Litt.D. from Williams College, Rutgers University, Fordham University, Washington University, St. Louis, and La Trobe University, Australia. He received the first Robert H. Lord Award of Emmanuel College in 1967, and was Trevelyan Lecturer (1971) and Pitt Professor of American History (1986-87) in Cambridge University, where he is an Honorary Fellow of Christ's College. In 1993 he received the Thomas Jefferson Medal and in 1994 the Henry Allen Moe Prize of the American Philosophical Society. La Trobe University, Australia, in 1995 created a lecture series in North American History in his name. In 1998 he was appointed the Jefferson Lecturer by the National Endowment for the Humanities; he received the medal of the Foreign Policy Association for his work on the International Seminar on Atlantic History; and he delivered the first Millennium Lecture at the White House. In 2000 he was awarded the Bruce Catton Prize of the Society of American Historians for lifetime achievement in the writing of history, in 2001 he received the Centennial Medal of the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and in 2004 the Kennedy Medal of the Massachusetts Historical Society.