Henry Steele Commager was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on October 25, 1902. He was educated at the University of Chicago. He taught history at New York University, Columbia University, and Amherst College. In addition to lecturing at many universities throughout the world, he was Harmsworth Professor at Oxford University and Pitt Professor at Cambridge University, where he was also an honorary fellow at Peterhouse College. His writings range widely over such topics as education, the Civil War, civil liberties, the Enlightenment, and immigration. Many of his books reflect his keen interest in constitutional history and civil liberties. He was also a documentarian, who has said to consider Documents of American History (1934), the 1988 edition of which he coedited with Milton Cantor, to be his most significant contribution. He died on March 2, 1998.