Russian historian Marc Raeff was born in Moscow on July 28, 1923. He moved to the United States with his family and briefly attended City College of New York before being drafted into the Army during World War II. He spent the war years as an interpreter in prisoner-of-war camps. He received a Ph.D from Harvard University in 1950. He taught at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts from 1949 to 1961 and at Columbia University from 1961 to 1988. He was one of the country's leading scholars of Russian history specializing in imperial Russia. His wrote numerous books including Origins of the Russian Intelligentsia, Understanding Imperial Russia, and Russia Abroad: A Cultural History of Russian Emigration, 1919 - 1939. He died from Lou Gehrig's disease on September 20, 2008 at the age of 85.