January 23, 1904 – November 16, 1996

Historian, Scholar, Author and Educator

Benjamin was born in Boston, Massachusetts on January 23, 1904. His father, Arthur Benedict Quarles and Margaret O’Brien Quarles. He had a sister named Anna Quarles.
In his twenties, Quarles enrolled at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. He completed his studies and earned his B.A. in 1931. Afterwards he went to the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, where he earned an M.A. in 1933. While still attending to earn his PH.D he taught at his alma mater the amount of four years. He received his PH.D. In American History in 1940. After rising to full professor and dean at Dillard, he relocated in 1953 to Morgan State College in Baltimore, Maryland and remained there for the rest of his academic career. At Morgan he was the long-time head of the History Department (1953-1974), a revered teacher and counselor, an intellectual and mentor for two generations of African American scholars, and an internationally acclaimed historian of the black experience in the United States.

Benjamin published ten books, twenty-three major articles, and hundreds of shorter pieces of various sorts. These for books attained national significance:
1- Frederick Douglass (1948), which grew out of his doctoral research and remains the authoritative source for most of what is known about Douglass;
2-The Negro in the American Revolution (1961), one of the first books to demonstrate the importance of including African Americans in the mainstream narratives of U.S. history;
3-The Negro in the Making of America (1964), a text used in courses throughout the country.
4-Black Abolitionists (1969), a book that helped propel a major reassessment of the anti-slavery movement.
His immense reputation as a scholar came at the same time when many traditionally white faculties began to hire African Americans. With all his fame as a historian he remained humble and remained with Morgan. He was married to Vera Bullock who died in 1951. The following year he married Ruth Brett. The couple had two daughters, Pamela and Roberta.
Through Benjamin Quarles Achievement and filling the gap he opened the door for other African American Scholars who endeavored into the Historian Profession. He is regarded as one of the principal pioneers whose influential scholarship and unfailing support had opened wider opportunities for them. Benjamin Quarles died in Baltimore in 1996 of a heart attack. He was 92


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