Dr. Richard Lowitt

  • Born: February 25, 1922
  • Died: 2018
  • Location: Concord, Massachusetts

Concord Funeral Home

Director - Glenn D. Burlamachi, CFSP
74 Belknap St.
Concord, MA 01742

Tel. (978) 369-3388

Tribute & Message From The Family

Loving Husband, Father, Grandfather, Great Grandfather and Inspiring Educator

Richard Lowitt, Distinguished Professor of American History, died at the age of 96 after a brief illness on Saturday, June 23, at his home in Concord, MA. His focus was the American West in the 20th century, and was best known for a definitive biography of Senator George W. Norris of Nebraska, who was instrumental in passing the Tennessee Valley Authority legislation. Other works include a biography of Senator Bronson Cutting of New Mexico, a biography of Senator Fred Harris of Oklahoma, the New Deal and the West, and The Standing Bear Controversy: Prelude to Indian Reform.

Born in 1922 in New York City to Hungarian immigrants, Eugene Lowitt and Eleanor Lebowitz Lowitt, he received a Bachelor of Specialized Studies from City College of New York, a Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy in History from Columbia University. His long career included positions on the History faculty of University of Maryland, University of Rhode Island, Connecticut College, Florida State University and the University of Kentucky. He served as Chairman of the Department of History at Iowa State University, Professor Emeritus at the University of Oklahoma, and Regents Professor at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma.

He was a member of the Society of American Historians, Fellow of the Agricultural History Society of which he served as president from 1991-1992, Senior Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities, Fellow of the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and was a Member of the American History Association, Southern History Association, Western History Association, Mid-western History Association, and Organization of American Historians. He served on many committees and boards of editors including the Turner Prize Committee for the OAH.

Dr. Lowitt was predeceased in 2006 by his wife of 53 years, Suzanne Carson Lowitt, also an American historian and editor. He was also predeceased by his brother, Donald Lowitt. He is survived by his children, Peter Lowitt (Marilyn) of Concord, MA and Pamela Bennett (Wayne) of Brooklyn, NY. He is also survived by his grandchildren Matthew Bannister (Keri) of Erie, CO, Nicholas Lowitt of Denver, CO, Adam Bennett and Gillian Bennett of Brooklyn, NY, and great-grandson Logan Bannister. He enjoyed life in retirement in Concord, Massachusetts, after many years in the American West. He was prolific, enjoyed the history and people of his Concord community, and the company and love of his extended family there as well.
A Celebration of Dick's Life will be held on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at 10:00am at First Parish in Concord, 20 Lexington Road, Concord, MA 01742

Gifts in his memory may be made to:
First Parish in Concord
20 Lexington Road
Concord, MA 01742.


Condolence & Memory Journal

I did my graduate work at the University of Kentucky 1969-1975 with Dr. Lowitt. He was an
exemplary supervisory professor. I benefited immensely from his good counsel not only as
a graduate student but throughout my subsequent career.

Posted by Nelson Dawson - Louisville, KY - Student   September 10, 2018

I met Dr. Lowitt when he was the chair of a campus committee for a national scholarship. It was in 1984 and I was then a biology major and a sophomore at Iowa State University. His questions terrified me, but as soon as the interview was over, he and the other committee members were encouraging and helped me make revisions that made me a much stronger candidate. I never have forgotten that interview and his advice. I'm sure that he touched many other students over the years.

My condolences to his family.

Posted by Modupe Labode - Indianapolis, IN - Student   July 17, 2018

Dick was a fixture at the WHA conventions. I always looked forward to seeing him. He was a great guy, and a fine historian.

Posted by Robert Righter - Friend   July 16, 2018

Many fond memories remain of conversations with Dick Lowitt, as he reached out to junior faculty and graduate students in a way that encouraged them to persevere in a business that offered many challenges as well as rewards. His advice about the need to be a good teacher mattered as much as his counsel on the study of the 20th century American West, in particular the daunting task of working through the vastness of government agency records for the region. His friendship with my mentor in graduate school solidified that relationship, as did his support of my own work. To Dick's family, we extend our condolences, and hope that his memory suffices for his absence from your lives.

Posted by Michael Welsh - Greeley, CO, CO - Friend   July 16, 2018

Peter, I am so sorry to hear about your father. He was really remarkable! What an impressive career. My thoughts are with you and your family. Please let me know if there's anything I can do to help you.

Posted by Judi Barrett - Duxbury, MA - friend   July 04, 2018

I got to know Dick at a western history conference, and we remained in touch. I was just going to email him to say I hadn't heard from him for a while when I saw this news. I am so sorry--all of us in the history profession have lost a wonderful friend and exemplar; I know I have. My sympathies to his family.

Posted by Michael Green - Las Vegas, NV   June 30, 2018

So sorry for your loss Peter and family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. If there is anything you need, please feel free to reach out and know that we are all thinking of you.

Posted by Neil Angus - Devens, MA - Family Friend   June 26, 2018

Family Album