In Memoriam: Willie Lee Nichols Rose, 1927-2018

Willie Lee Rose, a professor emerita of history at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, died in her sleep at her home in Baltimore on June 20. She was 91 years old.

Professor Rose was a leading authority on the Reconstruction period of U.S. history following the Civil War. She was the author of the prize-winning book Rehearsal for Reconstruction: The Port Royal Experiment (Bobbs-Merrill, 1964).

Dr. Rose was also a leading proponent of increasing the number of women on college and university faculties. In 1970 she was named chair of the American Historical Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Historical Profession. The committee soon released a report that documented widespread discrimination and unfair treatment of women historians.

Professor Rose was a native of Bedford, Virginia. She was a graduate of what is now the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia, where she majored in history. After earning a Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University, in 1965 Dr. Rose joined the faculty at the University of Virginia. In 1973 she joined the faculty as a full professor of history at Johns Hopkins University. In 1977, Professor Rose became the first woman to be appointed the Harold Vyvyan Harmsworth Visiting Professor of American History at Oxford University since its establishment in 1922.

After returning to Johns Hopkins, Dr. Rose suffered a debilitating stroke at the age of 51 that forced her to give up teaching.

Filed Under: In Memoriam


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