DAVID BUSHNELL

Obituary
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  • "God bless you Dr Bushnell. Fidel Iglesias"
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    - Robin Lauriault
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    - Frederick Gregory
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BUSHNELL, DAVID

David Bushnell, Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Florida, and a leading historian of Colombia and Latin America, died in Gainesville on September 3, 2010. He was born in Philadelphia, PA on May 14, 1923. He received his BA from Harvard in 1943, and then worked in the Latin American Division of the Office of Strategic Studies and the State Department, 1944-1946. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1951. He taught Latin American history at the University of Delaware, 1949-1956, then worked in the Office of the Historian of the US Air Force in New Mexico and Washington, DC, 1956-1963. He subsequently served on the NASA Historical Advisory Program and oversaw an official history of NASA. As an Air Force historian he co-authored Space Biology, an account of the high altitude and other experiments the Air Force conducted prior to launching men into space.

David Bushnell wrote his first book on Latin America, very aptly titled "A Beginner's Outline of Latin American Geography," while in elementary school. At the University of Delaware and the at the University of Florida, where he taught from 1963 until he retired in 1991, he published seven books on Colombian, Argentine and Latin American history; most were also published in Spanish-language editions. He was the editor of many other books, and published many articles. His last article, completed just before his death, "Philatelic Feminism: The Portrayal of Women on Stamps of Argentina, Colombia, Cuba, and the United States," combined his historical interests and his stamp collecting avocation. From 1986 to 1991 he served as Editor-m-Chief of the Hispanic American Historical Review, the leading journal of Latin American history.

He received many honors, among them invitations to be Visiting Professor at the National War College and a Visiting Fellow at Oxford University. He received medals from the Northern Department of Santander, Columbia (Francisco Santander Medal, 1984), for his study of Francisco de Paulo Santander, the first Vice-President and second President of Gran Colombia, and for other works on Colombian history. The Colombian government awarded him the Order of San Carlos (1995) for his many contributions to Colombian history. At the time of his death he was scheduled to receive an Honorary Doctorate from the National University of Colombia (it will be awarded posthumously). The National University was also preparing a television program on his career as a historian of Colombia.

David Bushnell is survived by his sister, Elizabeth Black (Philadelphia), sons John (Chicago) and Peter (Gainesville), daughter Catherine Amanti (Tucson), two granddaughters, a great-grandson, and a great-granddaughter. Donations in his honor may be made to the Give to Colombia Foundation, which provides grants to numerous social and humanitarian programs within Columbia. Send a check, payable to GIVE TO COLOMBIA, with a note indicating the donation is to honor David Bushnell, to Give to Colombia, 6705 Red Road, Suite 502, Coral Gables, FL 33143. A memorial service will be held at St. Michael's Episcopal Church, 4315 23rd Ave., Gainesville, at 11 a.m., Saturday, November 27, 2010.

Arrangements are entrusted to Forest Meadows Funeral Home, Cemeteries, and Crematory. Please sign our guestbook at www.forestmeadowsfh.com .

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Published in Gainesville Sun from Sept. 10 to Sept. 11, 2010
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