Raymond Gavins, professor of history at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, died on May 22 at the Duke Medical Pavillion. He was 73 years old.
Professor Gavins was a native of Atlanta. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Virginia Union University in Richmond and a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in history at the University of Virginia. He was the first African American to be awarded a Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences at the University of Virginia.
Dr. Gavins joined the faculty at Duke in 1970. He was the first African American to join the faculty of Duke’s history department. Dr. Gavins was promoted to associate professor in 1977 and to full professor in 1992.
His most recent book is The Cambridge Guide to African American History (Cambridge University Press, 2016).