Dr. Wolfe, History

Dr. Martin Wolfe, professor emeritus of history, passed away May 5, 2011, at the age of 90.

Born in Newark, New Jersey, Dr. Wolfe received his AB from the University of Illinois in history in 1941. After serving in the Troop Carrier Command of the Army Air Forces from 1942 to 1945, Dr. Wolfe earned his PhD from Columbia University in 1950.

He then went on to teach at Wayne State University before his appointment as assistant professor of history at Penn in 1953. Dr. Wolfe was promoted to associate professor in 1964 and to full professor in 1971. He did a sabbatical in Italy lecturing on European economic history and was a visiting lecturer at Yale. He was accorded emeritus status in 1985 and retired in 1991.

Dr. Wolfe authored several books and articles including The French Franc Between the Wars, 1919-1939, The Maclure Collection of French Revolutionary Materials, The Fiscal System of Renaissance France, The Economic Causes of Imperialism and his war memoir, Green Light! A Troop Carrier Squadron’s War from Normandy to the Rhine.

In addition to his teaching duties, Dr. Wolfe served Penn on the University Council, where he chaired the Fulbright Awards Committee in 1979-1980. He was also the former assistant editor of the Journal of Economic History, a former trustee of the Economic History Association and a member of the American Historical Association.

The Martin Wolfe Prize is awarded annually by Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences to an undergraduate student for an outstanding non-Honors research paper in world history.

Dr. Wolfe is survived by his wife, Dorothy; his daughter, Carolyn Spivak; and a grandson.