Obituary: Douglas Wheeler, historian of Angola and Portugal, (1937-2022)

Kathleen Sheldon's picture

I am sorry to share the news that our colleague, Douglas Wheeler, has passed away from heart failure. Doug was an early supporter of the Lusophone African Studies Organization, a longtime subscriber to our network, and was always generous with his knowledge and a pleasure to spend time with.

Douglas Lanphier Wheeler (July 19, 1937 - December 22, 2022)

Born July 19, 1937, in St. Louis, Missouri, he attended Dartmouth College and Boston University, earning his Ph.D. in 1963. He taught Portuguese and African history at the University of New Hampshire from 1965 until his retirement, holding the Prince Henry the Navigator Chair in Portuguese History from 1995. In the 1970s he consulted with the U.S. Department of State and testified about Angola at the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on African Affairs of the Committee on Foreign Relations.

He is survived by his wife, Katherine, and two daughters.

He published widely on Portuguese history and on Angola as one of the early contributors to that literature. Some of those publications include:

The Portuguese in Angola, 1836-1891: a study in expansion and administration (PhD diss Boston University, 1963)

Portuguese expansion in Angola since 1836: a re-examination (pamphlet published in Salisbury, Rhodesia, 1967)

“Toward a history of Angola: problems and sources,” in Western African history, edited by Daniel F. McCall, Norman R. Bennett, and Jeffrey Butler (Praeger, 1969)

Angola with René Pélissier (Praeger Publishers, 1971)

Republican Portugal: a political history, 1910-1926 (University of Wisconsin Press, 1978)

Historical dictionary of Portugal (Scarecrow Press, 1993) has a more detailed story of his life and includes information on where to make donations in his memory.

A memorial service is being held in New Hampshire on March 25, 2023.

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