Robert Doherty '57

Dr. Bob Doherty '57Robert W. Doherty ’57 entered the Chapter Eternal February 5, 2013. He was 77.

At the time of his death, Bob had been an esteemed history professor at the University of Pittsburgh for 45 years, having earned a bachelor’s degree at Denison and his master’s and PhD degrees at the University of Pennsylvania. He began his teaching career as an instructor at Widener College in 1959 and held teaching positions at Swarthmore, Rutgers and the University of Massachusetts before joining the Pitt faculty as an associate professor of history in 1968. Doherty rose to full professor in 1977 and taught in the history department until he suffered a stroke during the fall term.

Dr. Doherty held special interests in teaching and research associated with Native American history, environmental history and environmental politics. He published many books, several of which dealt with Native American issues.

Among his professional honors was a 2002 Student Government Board Faculty Honor Roll teaching award.

A native of Detroit, Bob spent most summers in northern Michigan. He enjoyed the outdoors, particularly hiking, canoeing, fishing and sailing. His time on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula also influenced his professional interests, including Great Lakes fishing rights treaties on behalf of Native Americans. Dr. Doherty served as an adviser and consultant to the Grand Traverse Band of Chippewa and Ottawa Indians and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, providing expert witness testimony in federal court cases involving treaty rights.

Doherty wrote “Not First in Nobody’s Heart” with Ron Paquin, a Chippewa Indian whom colleagues said Doherty met while researching another book, “Disputed Waters: Native American Fishing Rights in the Great Lakes.”

Bob was survived by his brother Lynn Doherty, sons Robert G. and Ian Doherty, daughter Kathryn Doherty, and granddaughters Elizabeth Doherty and Sage Goodwin.

All honor to his name.

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