John R. Alden was born in Michigan in 1908 and attended the University of Michigan, where he received his AB (1929), MA (1930), and PhD (1939). He taught at the University of Nebraska (1945–55), then transferred to Duke University in 1955, where he was chairman of the Department of History (1957–60), and was appointed, in 1963, James B. Duke Professor of History. He has also taught at the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, and Columbia University. Among his many academic honors is the Albert J. Beveridge Prize of the American Historical Association (1945) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (1955–56). Mr. Alden was invited to be Commonwealth Fund Lecturer at University College, London, in 1960, and Donald Fleming Lecturer at Louisiana State University in 1961. He died in 1991.