Lacey B. Smith ’44 ,H’77 died on September 8, 2013 in Greensboro, Vermont.
Lacey B. Smith, professor emeritus at Northwestern University, died September 8, 2013, at his home in Greensboro, Vt. He was born in Princeton, N.J., on October 3, 1922, son of the late Earl B. Smith of the Class of 1911. A member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, he served to sergeant in the Army Air Forces in Bangalore, India, during World War II, then went on to earn a master’s degree in 1949 and a doctorate in 1951, both at Princeton University.
He was a Fulbright scholar, Guggenheim fellow, and senior Fulbright fellow at the University of London, as well as an honorary research fellow at University College, London, and a senior fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities. After teaching at Princeton and M.I.T., he joined the faculty at Northwestern University in 1955. Bowdoin awarded him an honorary doctor of literature in 1977. A prolific writer and one of the foremost modern interpreters of Tudor England, he was the author of Tudor Prelates and Politics (1953); The Life and Times of Catherine Howard (1961); This Realm of England 1399-1689 (1966); The Elizabethan Epic (1966); Henry VIII: The Mask of Royalty (1971); Elizabeth Tudor: Portrait of a Queen (1975); and English History Made Brief, Irreverent, and Pleasurable; and co-author of World History in Outline (1966). At the age of 89, he wrote Anne Boleyn: The Queen of Controversy (2013). He was a champion of the Greensboro Library, the Greensboro Historical Society and the Greensboro Land Trust. He served on the board of the American Historical Association, the American Historical Review, the Conference on British Studies, and as editor of the Journal of Modern History. A devoted teacher, he rarely forgot a student’s name. One of his last actions before his death was to write to a former undergraduate, whom he hadn’t seen in decades, but who had contacted him regarding his most recent book. He is survived by son MacAllister Smith; daughters Dennison Smith and Katherine Chandler Smith-Brannon; and three grandchildren. He was predeceased by his wife of forty-three years, Jean Reeder Smith.