Donald A. Ritchie

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Donald A. Ritchie
Donald A Ritchie.jpg
Donald A. Ritchie in 2011.
Born (1945-12-23) December 23, 1945 (age 75)
Alma mater City College of New York (B.A., 1967)
University of Maryland, College Park (M.S., 1969; Ph.D., 1975)
Occupation Historian
Known for Historian of the United States Senate

Donald A. Ritchie (born December 23, 1945) is Historian Emeritus of the United States Senate.



He graduated from the City College of New York in 1967; and received a master's degree, in 1969, and a Ph.D., in 1975, from the University of Maryland, College Park. [1]


Ritchie served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1969 to 1971. [2]

As associate historian in the Senate Historical Office, beginning in 1976, Ritchie conducted oral history interviews with former senators and retired members of Senate staff as part of the Senate oral history project. [3] In 2009 he became the Senate historian, succeeding Richard Baker, and held that post until his retirement in 2015. [4]

Ritchie was responsible for editing the closed hearing transcripts of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy's investigations, [5] and has authored a number of books including Electing FDR. His book Press Gallery: Congress and the Washington Correspondents won him the Richard W. Leopold Prize of the Organization of American Historians. [6] He has served as president of the Oral History Association and on the councils of the American Historical Association and the International Oral History Association, [6] as well as on the board of the Society for History in the Federal Government. [7]



External video
Nuvola apps kaboodle.svg Booknotes interview with Ritchie on Press Gallery, July 7, 1991, C-SPAN



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  1. "Donald A. Ritchie" (2011). Almanac of the Unelected: Staff of the U.S. Congress. 23rd ed. Suzanne Struglinski and Lisa Friedman (eds.). Lanham, MD: Bernan Press. p. 29.
  2. "Knox Annual Lecturer: Historian, Donald A. Ritchie, on Henry Knox's impact in Congress" (2014) [posting about event on August 7, 2014]. The Penobscot Bay Pilot. Retrieved 2015-03-28.
  3. U. S. National Archives and Records Administration (undated). "Senate Oral History Program," section "About the Interviewer: Donald A. Ritchie." Retrieved 2015-03-28.
  4. Bolton, Alexander (March 6, 2015). "Senate historian Donald Ritchie to retire." The Hill. Retrieved 2015-03-28.
  5. Ritchie, Donald A. (August 2003). "Releasing Joe McCarthy." Organization of American Historians (OAH) Newsletter, vol. 31, no. 3. p. 1, 6. Retrieved 2015-03-28.
  6. 1 2 Wilson Center (2010). "Why a Congress and Not a Parliament" [posting about event on September 13, 2010], section "Donald A. Ritchie" [speaker biography]. Retrieved 2015-03-28.
  7. "Donald A. Ritchie" (2006) [contributor biography]. In Barry A. Lanman and Laura M. Wendling (eds.), Preparing the Next Generation of Oral Historians: An Anthology of Oral History Education. Lanham, MD: AltaMira Press. p. 480.
Government offices
Preceded by
Richard A. Baker
2nd Historian of the United States Senate
2009 – 2015
Succeeded by
Betty K. Koed