Reflecting on David Herbert Donald (1920-2009)

I learned today from one of my professors that David Herbert Donald, one of the premiere scholars of the Civil War and Lincoln passed away on May 17 at 88 (I later found the date of death via Google). One of his better known works was his 1995 biography of Abraham Lincoln entitled Lincoln. I had the distinct privilege of meeting Dr. Donald several years ago when I was attending Illinois College. We honored him with an honorary degree at convocation and he was at a reception at the college president’s home, where I met him. He struck me as a gentle and kind man, passionate about his subject and even took time to sign a copy of Lincoln that I had purchased for my dad as an anniversary gift, which will one day become a treasured part of my library. He was a truly gifted scholar and will be greatly missed, but I am sure that he is having quite the conversation with Abe Lincoln now.