Gertrude Himmelfarb


Biography of Gertrude Himmelfarb

Gertrude Himmelfarb (born August 8, 1922), also known as Bea Kristol, is an American historian. She has written extensively on intellectual history, with a focus on Britain and the Victorian era, as well as on contemporary society and culture.

Himmelfarb was born in Brooklyn, New York, the daughter of Bertha (née Lerner) and Max Himmelfarb. She received her undergraduate degree from Brooklyn College in 1942 and her doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1950. She also studied at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York and at Girton College, Cambridge University. In 1942, she married Irving Kristol, known as the "godfather" of neoconservatism, and has two children, Elizabeth Nelson and William Kristol, a political commentator and editor of The Weekly Standard.

Professor Emeritus at the Graduate School of the City University of New York, she is the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees. She has served on the Council of Scholars of the Library of Congress, the Council of Academic Advisors of the American Enterprise Institute, and the Council of the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1991 she delivered the Jefferson Lecture under the auspices of the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 2004 she received the National Humanities Medal awarded by the President.

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