July 26, 2021
Lewis L. Gould, the Eugene Barker centennial professor emeritus of history at the University of Texas at Austin and former fellow of the Briscoe Center for American History, has been named the inaugural recipient of an award that recognizes distinguished contributions to research and education about America’s first ladies. The award, which will be named for Dr. Gould, was announced by the First Ladies Association for Research and Education (FLARE).
“Dr. Gould’s pioneering work opened the door to the development of a new discipline, the study of the first lady,” said Myra Gutin, FLARE’s founding president. “He encouraged and inspired a generation of scholars and others interested in the presidential spouse to research and then share what they had learned with the American public.” FLARE was launched this year (FLARE | First Ladies Association of Research and Education (flare-net.org) in partnership with American University’s School of Public Affairs.
“During his distinguished career as a teacher and author, Lew Gould has greatly expanded our understanding of American history, especially in the field of politics,” said Don Carleton, executive director of the Briscoe Center. “His book, Progressives and Prohibitionists: Texas Democrats in the Wilson Era has become a classic. Lew has not only done extensive research in collections at the Briscoe Center, he also has played a key role in helping us expand our archival holdings, including the famed Natchez Trace Collection. We join FLARE in their recognition of Gould’s academic legacy.”
Gould was the first to develop a university-level course on the history of America’s first ladies at the University of Texas-Austin in 1982. Two years later he was the keynote speaker at the first national first ladies conference, convened by Betty Ford. His book that analyzed Lady Bird Johnson’s contribution to environmentalism was the first attempt to demonstrate a first lady’s impact on the American society. In 1998, Gould became the editor for the Modern First Ladies series published by the University Press of Kansas.
Born in New York City in 1939, Lewis Ludlow Gould earned a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and a masters from Yale. After receiving his Ph.D. from Yale in 1966, Gould taught history at Yale and then moved to the University of Texas at Austin in 1967. He served as chair of the UT History Department from 1980 to 1984 and retired in 1998. Gould has written and edited numerous articles and books on politics and the American presidency, including The Black Experience in America (1968) and American First Ladies (2001). Gould has recently served as a retired visiting distinguished professor of history at Monmouth College.
Gould has contributed a number of collections to the Briscoe Center, including: