Edwin Burrows
Edwin Burrows

Obituary of Edwin Burrows

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been created in Ted's memory to benefit the educational programming of the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum Alliance

 

May  6, 2018, Huntington, NY…Edwin G. Burrows, a retired Distinguished Professor of History at Brooklyn College and the Pulitzer Prize-winning co-author of Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898 (Oxford University Press, 1998), died on May 4 at his home after a long battle with a parkinsonian syndrome.

Born May 15, 1943 in Detroit, Michigan, Burrows, known to friends and family as Ted, had taught at Brooklyn College for more than forty years, where his course on the history of New York City was among the college's most popular offerings. During his career at Brooklyn College, he was twice a recipient of the Wolfe Fellowship (in 2001 and 1992), was named Broeklundian Professor of History in 2002, and received the Award for Excellence in Creative Achievement in 1999. Professor Burrows was not only a brilliant scholar, but also an extraordinary teacher who inspired and mentored his students and younger colleagues.

At the time of Gotham’s publication, which was co-written with Mike Wallace, Professor of History at John Jay College, Kirkus Reviews wrote, “A suitably vast, sprawling, and all-consuming history of the rapid evolution of New York City from primordial forest into the world's most fabulous city.....Magisterial, colorful, meticulously researched, and richly detailed; destined to be the definitive history of early New York City."

In addition to the prize-winning Gotham, Burrows is also the author of Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners During the Revolutionary War, (2008), which won the 2009 Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award and Best Book of the Year by the New York Academy of History, as well as his most recent book, The Finest Building in America: The New York Crystal Palace, 1853-1858, published this past February by Oxford University Press. His first book, Gallatin and the Political Economy of Republicanism, based on his doctoral dissertation, was published in 1986 (Garland Press).

A frequent lecturer and contributor to numerous books on American history, with an emphasis on New York, its leaders, architecture and the American Revolution, Burrows had been a Distinguished Lecturer for the Organization of American Historians and served on the boards of the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum in Manhattan, New York History, and the Society of American Historians, and is a past president of the New York Academy of History.

Burrows received his B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1964, and his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1973, where he studied under Eric McKitrick.

He married Patricia Adamski, currently the Senior Vice President for Planning and Administration at Hofstra University and the Adolph J. and Dorothy R. Eckhardt Distinguished Professor of Corporate Law at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law, in 1978 in the garden of their rented brownstone on Jane St., Manhattan. Burrows was in love with New York City and arranged treks with his wife and children to explore every nook and cranny of each of the boroughs, even after their move to Northport, NY in 1991.

Edwin Burrows is survived by his wife; his son Matthew Burrows, who works at a real estate development firm in Manhattan, and his wife, Jacqueline; and daughter Kate Burrows, a doctoral student at Yale University. He is also survived by his brothers, David and Daniel Burrows of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

 

 

As published in Newsday on May 6, 2018.

Edwin G. Burrows, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, dies at 74

The former Brooklyn College history professor, who lived in Huntington, co-authored “Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898,” winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for History.

Retired Brooklyn College history professor Edwin G. Burrows, co-author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898,” died May 4 at his home in Huntington after a long battle with Parkinsonian syndrome.

Burrows, a longtime Long Island resident, was 74.

“He really loved the work he did,” said his daughter, Kate Burrows, a doctoral student at Yale University in New Haven. “He loved mentoring young students and young faculty members. He valued young scholarship and cultivating scholarship.”

Edwin Burrows, known to family and friends as Ted, also sparked a deep intellectual hunger in his children, Kate Burrows said.

“He taught us the importance of reading and learning about the world,” she said. “He taught us the importance of travel and learning about other cultures. His passion for life — good food, good wine — was really contagious.”

Burrows is best known for “Gotham,” winner of the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for history, which was co-authored by John Jay College history professor Mike Wallace. The book, released in 1998 and published by Oxford University Press, was a “vast, sprawling and all-consuming history of the rapid evolution of New York City from primordial forest into the world’s most fabulous city,” according to Kirkus Review.

Burrows was born in Detroit in 1943, received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in 1964, and his doctorate from Columbia University in 1973. He taught at Brooklyn College for more than 40 years, and his course on the history of New York City was among the school’s most popular classes.

Burrows became an award-winning scholar recognized by his peers as an expert on the history of New York, its leaders, architecture and role in the American Revolution. He was a distinguished lecturer for the Organization of American Historians and served on the board of the Dyckman Farmhouse Museum in Manhattan, the New-York Historical Society and the Society of American Historians.

Burrows was also past president of the New York Academy of History.

Burrows also authored “Forgotten Patriots: The Untold Story of American Prisoners During the Revolutionary War,” (2008), which won the 2009 Fraunces Tavern Museum Book Award and best book of the year by the New York Academy of History. His first book, “Gallatin and the Political Economy of Republicanism,” based on his doctoral dissertation, was published in 1986.

His most recent book, “The Finest Building in America: The New York Crystal Palace, 1853-1858,” was published in February. Kate Burrows said her father was struggling with complications from Parkinsonian syndrome. “I’m so incredibly proud that he finished that book,” she said. “It was very challenging for him.”

Burrows married Patricia Adamski, a senior vice president at Hofstra University and a distinguished professor of law at the school’s Maurice A. Deane School of Law, in 1978 in the garden of their brownstone on Jane Street in Manhattan. The family moved to Northport in 1991, and then to Huntington in 2014.

In addition to his daughter and his wife, Burrows is survived by his son, Matthew Burrows, of Manhattan, and his wife Jacqueline; and brothers David and Daniel Burrows, of Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Visitation will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Nolan & Taylor-Howe Funeral Home in Northport. A private burial and reception will follow.

“He was the most supportive father I could have asked for,” Kate Burrows said.

 

 

As published in the New York Times on May 6, 2018.

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Historian Edwin Burrows Dies at 74

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK — Edwin Burrows, a historian who won a Pulitzer Prize for an epic overview of New York City's early history, has died. He was 74. 

Burrows died on Friday at his home in Huntington from complications of a Parkinsonian syndrome, said his daughter, Kate Burrows.

Burrows and co-author Mike Wallace spent 20 years writing "Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898," a massive book that narrated the city's rise from Dutch outpost to the country's hub for all things financial and cultural and that won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1999.

"He painted a picture of history and really made it come to life," Kate Burrows said.

Burrows' most recent work was "The Finest Building in America: The New York Crystal Palace, 1853-1858," which was published in February.

Born in Detroit, Burrows went to the University of Michigan for his undergraduate degree and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1973. He taught at Brooklyn College for more than 40 years.

Along with his daughter, Burrows is survived by his wife, his son and two brothers.

 

As published in the Washington Post on May 6, 2018.

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Edwin Burrows dies at 74

NEW YORK — Edwin Burrows, a historian who won a Pulitzer Prize for an epic overview of New York City’s early history, has died. He was 74.

Burrows died on Friday at his home in Huntington from complications of a Parkinsonian syndrome, said his daughter, Kate Burrows.

Burrows and co-author Mike Wallace spent 20 years writing “Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898,” a massive book that narrated the city’s rise from Dutch outpost to the country’s hub for all things financial and cultural and that won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1999.

“He painted a picture of history and really made it come to life,” Kate Burrows said.

Burrows’ most recent work was “The Finest Building in America: The New York Crystal Palace, 1853-1858,” which was published in February.

Born in Detroit, Burrows went to the University of Michigan for his undergraduate degree and received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in 1973. He taught at Brooklyn College for more than 40 years.

Along with his daughter, Burrows is survived by his wife, his son and two brothers.