Teacher, Historian, and Author
Oklahoma’s “greatest historian” was nine years old when she first set foot on Oklahoma soil on November 8, 1899, having arrived by covered wagon with her family from Kansas. Angie Debo described that day as a beautiful golden autumn morning—“The sky was clear blue, and green wheat stretched to the horizon.”
Her new home town was Marshall, Oklahoma, which did not have a four-year high school before 1910, so she was twenty-three when she graduated in 1913. Five years later, she earned a bachelor’s degree in history from the University of Oklahoma and in 1924 a master’s degree from the University of Chicago. She received a Ph.D. in history from Oklahoma in 1933.
But even with a Ph.D, Angie Debo would never hold a position in a history department at a university, largely due to gender discrimination.
She wrote, edited, or coauthored thirteen books in her lifetime. In 1985, in recognition of the various contributions she had made to American Indians, to her state, and to her profession, Oklahoma placed Debo’s portrait in the state capitol rotunda.
Angie Debo was 98 when she died February 21, 1988.
Interview with Patricia Loughlin
Müllerhaus Legacy Website Team
Date Created: March 24, 2017
Date Published: May 19, 2017
Notes: Recorded by John Erling in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Digital Audio Sound Recording, Non-Music.
Tags: Dr. Edward Dale, Choctaws, Creeks, Cherokees, University of Chicago, And Still the Waters Run, Prairie City, gender discrimination, John Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath, Grafters, W.P.A., University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State University, Tulsa, teaching, history