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Award-winning Civil War historian Stephen B. Oates, dies at 85


Stephen B. Oates, award winning Civil War historian dies at 85.

Oates wrote biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King Jr.

He was also a key consultant on filmmaker Ken Burns 1990 documentary series “The Civil War.”

Oates received the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights book award in 1983.

Oates died Friday at his home in Amherst home surrounded by family after a battle with cancer, officials at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he was a professor from 1968 until 1997.

Oates was born in Pampa, Texas, in 1936 and earned his bachelor’s degrees from the University of Texas.

He is survived by two children and four grandchildren. His former wife, Helen Oates died in 2019.

Funeral services are private. A memorial service is planned at UMass Amherst in the spring.