Donald Marquand Dozer was born in Zanesville, Ohio, June 7, 1905, and grew up in that state. He received his B.A. degree from the College of Wooster and earned M.A. and Ph.D. degrees (1936) at Harvard University. Between these student years and his death on August 4, 1980, Professor Dozer achieved national and international distinction as an authority on Latin American history and United States–Latin American relations.

While engaged in graduate studies, he served as a part-time instructor at Harvard University, Radcliffe College, and Boston University; then he spent a year as archivist for the Department of State in the National Archives. From this position, Dozer moved to the faculty of the University of Maryland, where he taught from 1937 to 1942, and again from 1956 to 1959. He joined the university faculty at Santa Barbara in 1959.

Dozer’s active academic career was interrupted during World War II and for some years thereafter by government service. He was an officer in the Division of the Coordinator of Information (later OSS) in Washington, until 1943. During 1943–44, he was liaison officer, Caribbean Office, for Lend-Lease in Washington. He then transferred to the Department of State, serving as research analyst, assistant chief, and coordinator of the National Intelligence Survey, and as assistant to the chief of the Division of Research for the American Republics in the historical section until 1956. In the course of his governmental activities, he represented the Department of State in a special conference in the Panama Canal Zone and in 1948 served as assistant technical secretary for the United States in the delegation to the Ninth International Conference of American States (Bogotá).

During his career, Professor Dozer published nearly one hundred articles and reviews, in major scholarly journals. Dozer’s scholarly reputation rests mainly on his books on Latin American history and inter- American relations. Several of these have become standard works in their field and are being reprinted: Are We Good Neighbors? Three Decades of Inter-American Relations, 1930–1960 (1959); Latin America: An Interpretive History (1962); The Monroe Doctrine: Its Modern Significance (1965; revised edition in 1976); Panama Canal Issues and Treaty Talks (1967); and Portrait of the Free State: A History of Maryland (1976). The last book was commissioned by the Maryland Bicentennial Commission.

While at UCSB, Professor Dozer gained a fine reputation as both undergraduate and graduate teacher, noted for fairness and meticulous scholarship. During the thirteen years before his retirement, eleven Ph.D. dissertations were completed under his direction. During these same years he accumulated most of his honors, and acquired his international reputation as a scholar. In 1968, he was appointed member, and later chairman, of the American Revolution Bicentennial Commission of California, leading the state’s observance of the nation’s two hundredth birthday. He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1971.

That same year, Dozer received the Alberdi-Sarmiento Award given by the Buenos Aires newspaper La Prensa, an annual honor accorded to “the person who has made the greatest contribution to Inter-American relations.” Dozer was the first United States citizen to receive this distinction since 1954.

Professor Dozer was a member of various professional and honorary organizations. His membership in the Mont Pelerin Society, a prestigious international society of social scientists, is particularly noteworthy.

After receiving emeritus status at UCSB in 1972, Dozer continued teaching for the American Graduate School of International Management, at Glendale, Arizona. He also taught courses for this school’s branches at the Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, Mexico, in 1973, and at the Institute for International Studies and Training, in Boeki Kenshu, Japan, in 1975. In 1976, he was visiting lecturer at the Universidad Francisco Marroquín, in Guatemala City.

Author notes


The authors are faculty members of the Department of History, University of Califomia, Santa Barbara.