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Robert Sherman LaForte, Emeritus Professor of history

Robert Sherman LaForte, 80, died July 11 in Galveston.

LaForte taught history beginning in 1968, serving as chairman of the history department until his retirement in 1998. He established the UNT archives in 1975.

LaForte co-wrote several books about World War II – “Remembering Pearl Harbor: Eyewitness Accounts by U.S. Military Men and Women,” “Building the Death Railway: The Ordeal of American POWs in Burma, 1942-45” and “With Only the Will to Live: Accounts of Americans in Japanese Prison Camps, 1941-45” – as well as an authorized history of UNT’s first 100 years, “Down the Corridor of Years: A Centennial History of the University of North Texas in Photographs, 1890-1990.”

In 2002, he donated his 550-book collection by World War II prisoners of war to UNT’s archives.

In 1994, he received the ‘Fessor Graham Award, which students give to outstanding faculty members.

He moved to the Houston area after his retirement. He enjoyed crossword puzzles, Denton politics, classical music and was active in his church.

He earned a bachelor’s degree from Pittsburg State University in 1958, a doctorate from the University of Kansas in 1964 and a masters of library science from North Texas in 1968.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1953 to1956.

LaForte is survived by his wife, Frances; three sons; seven grandchildren; and five great grandchildren.


Posted on: Tue 05 August 2014

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