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Richard L. Rapson Edit Profile

history professor

Richard L. Rapson, American History educator. Woodrow Wilson fellow, Wilson Foundation, Princeton, 1960; Edward Perkinsscholar, Columbia University, 1961; Danforth teacher, Danforth Foundation, St. Louis, 1965; recipient E. Harris Harbison for Gifted Teaching award, Danforth Foundation, 1973, Outstanding Teacher award Stanford University 25th Reunion Class, 1992.


Rapson, Richard L. was born on March 8, 1937 in New York City. Son of Louis and Grace Lillian (Levenkind) Rapson.


He then taught history at Stanford University from 1961-1965 while pursuing his Ph.D. at Columbia University, granted in 1966.


Rapson earned his B.A. magna cum laude at Amherst College in June 1958, and served briefly there as an instructor in American Studies. His dissertation was on The British Traveler in America, 1860-1935. His doctoral advisor was Richard Hofstadter.

In 1966, after teaching history at University of California at Santa Barbara, he moved to Hawaii, and has been on the faculty of the University of Hawaii system ever since. He has returned to Stanford as a Visiting Professor of History (1973–74), and been a Visiting Professor of History four separate semesters on Semester at Sea, a University shipboard program that sails around the world. Rapson worked as a psychotherapist for 15 years, beginning in 1982.

He founded and headed the University of Hawaii's experimental liberal art college, New College, from 1968-1973. Rapson has written many books and short stories. He has one child, Dr. Kim Elizabeth Rapson.

Heydeck, Elisabeth. "Erklär mir Liebe—Viel Lärm um Nichts?” ZDF (German Public Television) Science Documentary. 2011. Miller, Lulu. "Entanglement." National Public Radio Invisibilia Series. January 30, 2015. Roller, Emma.

"Donald Trump's Unstoppable Virility." The New York Times. December 29, 2015. Sex During Wartime: History Under the Covers - 9 part series (Sex in WWII: The Home Front and Sex in WWII: The European Front). The History Channel. 2002.


  • He was also named National Finalist for the Danforth Foundation's Distinguished Teaching Award, which honored the nation's best teachers.



(1968). Individualism and Conformity in the American Character. Cultural Pluralism in the 50th State.


Member American History Association, Organization American History, National Womens History Project, Phi Beta Kappa, Outrigger Canoe Club, Honolulu Club.


  • Other Interests

    Avocations: squash, travel, classical music.


Married Susan Burns, February 22, 1975 (divorced June 1981). Married Elaine Catherine Hatfield, June 15, 1982. 1 child, Kim Elizabeth.

Louis Rapson

Grace Lillian (Levenkind) Rapson

Susan Burns

Elaine Catherine Hatfield

Kim Elizabeth Rapson