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William Gerald McLoughlin (June 11, 1922 – December 28, 1992) was an historian and prominent member of the history department at Brown Universitymarker from 1954 to 1992. His subject areas were the history of religion in the United States, revivalism, the Cherokee, missionaries to Native Americans, abolitionism, and Rhode Islandmarker.

Born in Maplewood, New Jerseymarker, McLoughlin earned his A.B. from Princeton Universitymarker in 1947, graduating Phi Beta Kappa after having taken a three-year hiatus from his studies to serve as a first lieutenant in the field artillery in World War II. He received his A.M. from Harvardmarker in 1948 and his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1953.

At Brown, he was promoted to a full professorship in 1963. In 1981, he was appointed the Annie McClelland and Willard Prescott Smith Professor of History and Religion. In 1992, McLoughlin was named the first Chancellor's Fellow at Brown, allowing him to continue teaching although he had earned emeritus status.

His many publications won him wide recognition, including the 1972 Frederic C. Melcher Prize for the best book on religion in America. McLoughlin was regarded as “one of the country’s most distinguished historians of American religion.”

McLoughlin opposed American involvement in the Vietnam War, and he was a former chair of the Rhode Island American Civil Liberties Union. For his work to advance civil rights, in 2004 McLoughlin was posthumously inducted into the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Hall of Fame in Providence, R.I., along with Robert Bailey IV.


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Books by William G. McLoughlin

(listed in chronological order)

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