Distinguished professor, civil war historian James I. “Bud” Robertson Jr. passes awayHistorians in the News
tags: obituaries, historians
James I. Robertson Jr., an alumni distinguished professor emeritus of history at Virginia Tech and founder of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies, passed away Nov. 2 due to illness, at 89 years old.
“Dr. Robertson was a remarkable person who shared his life and gifts with so many,” said Virginia Tech President Tim Sands according to VT News. “His service to the nation, the commonwealth, his profession, and the Virginia Tech community is unparalleled. We are incredibly fortunate to have had the great benefit of his talents for so many years. May we carry Dr. Robertson’s passion for discovery and spirit of service forward in his honor.”
Robertson’s first wife, Elizabeth “Libba” Robertson, passed away in 2008. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth “Betty Lee” Robertson; his sons, James I. Robertson III and Howard Robertson; his daughter, Beth Brown; his stepson, William W. Lee Jr.; his stepdaughter, Elizabeth A. Lee; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Robertson was born and raised in Danville, Virginia. His career in history and Civil War studies began by earning a bachelor’s degree in history from Randolph-Macon College, and he then went on to earn a master’s degree and doctorate in history from Emory University. Later in 1961, President John F. Kennedy appointed Robertson to executive director of the United States Civil War Centennial Commission during the 100th anniversary of the Civil War.
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