Historian George M. Fredrickson was born in Bristol, Connecticut on July 16, 1934. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1956 and then studied in Norway on a Fulbright scholarship. After serving in the Navy for three years, he earned a doctorate from Harvard University in 1964. He taught at numerous universities including Harvard University, Northwestern University and Stanford University. He retired from teaching in 2002. During his career, he wrote eight books and edited four more. His book White Supremacy: A Comparative Study in American and South African History was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Some of his other works include The Inner Civil War: Northern Intellectuals and the Crises of the Union, Racism: A Short History and Big Enough to Be Inconsistent: Abraham Lincoln Confronts Slavery and Race. He died from heart failure on February 25, 2008.