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Richard Patrick McCormick
Born 24 December 1916
Ridgewood, New York
Died 16 January 2006
Bridgewater, New Jersey
Occupation Historian

Richard Patrick McCormick (24 December 1916 – 16 January 2006) was a historian, former University Professor of History, administrator, professor emeritus at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey and President of the New Jersey Historical Society. Dr. McCormick was internationally recognized for his expertise in New Jersey and early American political history.


Born in Queens, New York, on 24 December 1916, McCormick graduated from Tenafly High School in Tenafly, New Jersey in 1933.

McCormick received a Bachelor of Arts (A.B.) in History from Rutgers College of Rutgers University in 1938 and proceeded to earn a Master of Arts (A.M.) from Rutgers' Graduate School in 1940. During his undergraduate years, McCormick was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in 1948 from the University of Pennsylvania submitting a dissertation entitled Experiment in Independence: New Jersey in the Critical Period, 1781-1789 which would be edited for his first monograph.

In 1945, he began teaching at Rutgers University in the department of history. From 1961-1962, Dr. McCormick was appointed a fellow of Jesus College, University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. In August 1945, Richard P. McCormick married Katheryne Levis in Baltimore, Maryland whom he met at the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware while teaching Army Specialized Training Reserve Program in 1944.

McCormick was chair of the Rutgers College history department from 1966 to 1969 and dean of Rutgers College from 1974 to 1977. In 1971 he chaired a committee on coeducation at Rutgers College (which had previously admitted men only) and in 1969 he chaired a special faculty committee to address issues raised by African-American students at Rutgers.

McCormick retired from teaching in 1982.

McCormick was instrumental in the establishment of several influential historical organizations, including the New Jersey Historical Commission, the New Jersey State Historical Records Advisory Board and the New Jersey Tercentenary Commission, and served as research adviser to Colonial Williamsburg, and as a member of the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission.

His books The Second American Party System: Party Formations in the Jacksonian Era (1966) and Rutgers: A Bicentennial History (1966) received the biennial book prize from American Association for State and Local History in 1965 and 1968 respectively. In 2002, McCormick was recognized with the Award for Scholarly Distinction from the American Historical Association.

Richard P. McCormick died on 16 January 2006 at the age of 89 after an extended illness. He was the father of two children, Dorothy (b. 1950), and Richard Levis McCormick (b. 1947), who is the nineteenth and current President of Rutgers University. After Richard L. McCormick became a history professor at Rutgers in the mid-70's, the two McCormicks taught at least one history course together, American Political History.


  • Experiment in Independence: New Jersey in the Critical Period, 1781-1789 (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1950). ISBN 9998006481
  • The History of Voting in New Jersey: A Study of the Development of Election Machinery, 1664-1911 (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1953). NO ISBN
  • New Jersey from Colony to State, 1609-1789 (1st ed.—Princeton, New Jersey: Van Nostrand, 1964; 2nd ed.—New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1970). ISBN 0-8135-0662-X
  • The Second American Party System: Party Formations in the Jacksonian Era (Chapel Hill, North Carolina:University of North Carolina Press, 1966). ISBN 0-8078-0977-2
  • Rutgers: A Bicentennial History (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1966). ISBN 0-8135-0521-6
  • The Selected Speeches of Mason Welch Gross with Richard Schlatter. (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1980). ISBN 0-87855-388-6
  • The Presidential Game: The Origins of American Presidential Politics (New York: Oxford University Press, 1982). ISBN 0-19-503455-4
  • The Case of the Nazi Professor with David M. Oshinsky and Daniel Horn (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1989). ISBN 0-8135-1427-4
  • The Black Student Protest Movement at Rutgers (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Rutgers University Press, 1990). ISBN 0-8135-1575-0
  • Equality Deferred: Women Candidates for the New Jersey Assembly, 1920-1993 with Katheryne C. McCormick, (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Center for the American Woman and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, 1994). NO ISBN




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