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Keith Waldemar Olson Edit Profile

educator , historian

Keith Waldemar Olson, American historian, educator. United States Office Education grantee, 1965-1966; University Maryland grantee, 1971, 76, 78.


Olson, Keith Waldemar was born on August 4, 1931 in Poughkeepsie, New York, United States. Son of Ernest Waldemar and Elin Ingeborg (Rehnstrom) Olson.


Bachelor, State University of New York, Albany, 1957. Master of Arts, State University of New York, Albany, 1959. Doctor of Philosophy, University Wisconsin, 1964.

Doctor of Philosophy (honorary), University Tampere, Finland, 2000.


Olson also has published numerous essays, articles and reviews and has appeared on radio and television, including the History Channel and C-SPAN, discussing twentieth-century presidential history in the United States. Olson was named Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland and also served as a Fulbright Program Professor three times in Finland.


  • His most notable book, "The G.I Bill, the Veterans, and the Colleges", was runner-up for the Frederick Jackson Turner Award from the Organization of American Historians and is included in the "100 Classic Books on Higher Education" (2001).



President American Scandinavian Foundation, Washington, 1977-1979. Served with United States Army, 1952-1954. Member American History Association, Organization American Historians, Wisconsin History Society, Swedish American History Society, Finnish History Society (honorary), Society Historians of America Foreign Relations, Center Study of Presidency, American Scandinavian Association (president 1998-1999).


Married Marilyn Joyce Wittschen, September 10, 1955. Children: Paula, Judy.

Ernest Waldemar Olson

Elin Ingeborg (Rehnstrom) Olson

Marilyn Joyce Wittschen

Paula Olson

Judy Olson