Otto Paul Pflanze


Guggenheim Fellow (1966)
College of Arts and Sciences
Department of History


Otto Paul Pflanze was internationally known as both a historian of 19th-century Germany and a biographer of Bismarck. Pflanze was born in Maryville, Tennessee, where he earned an undergraduate degree in history from Maryville College. He completed a master's degree from Yale University, only to have his graduate coursework interrupted in 1942 to serve in the Army Air Corps during WWII.

After the war, Pflanze was able to resume his graduate coursework work at Yale, and worked for a year with the Department of State in Washington, Berlin, and Whadden Hall (England), where he helped edit Documents of German Foreign Policy, dating from 1918–45. After earning a PhD in 1950, Pflanze taught at New York University, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and University of Illinois, before accepting professorships at the University of Minnesota (1961) and Indiana University, where he served as editor-in-chief of the American Historical Review from 1977-1985. He then joined the faculty of Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson as Stevenson Professor of History and served there until his retirement in 1992.