Sears, Louis Martin (1885-1960) | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections
Author and historian Louis Martin Sears was born in Chicago on June 4, 1885. Sears received Bachelor's, Master's, and Doctoral degrees from the University of Chicago, which awarded him its Alumni Citation for Public Service in 1950. Sears joined the faculty of Purdue University in 1920. Prior to coming to Purdue as an assistant professor in 1920, he taught in high schools at Birmingham, Alabama, Joliet, Illinois, and Chicago. Sears became an associate professor at Purdue in 1922, and was promoted to a full professor of history in 1925. In 1953, Sears received the Sigma Delta Chi "Best Teacher" award, and he was commencement speaker to the 1955 graduating class of Purdue University. In addition to his teaching duties at Purdue, Sears taught summer terms at the University of Missouri, University of Nebraska, University of West Virginia, University of Cincinnati, University of Wisconsin, and New York University. He also taught for a full year at Duke University. After retiring from Purdue in 1956, Sears went to Washington, D.C. to complete work on several books he was writing. Sears authored several history texts and numerous journal articles, primarily relating to United States diplomatic history. Some of his books include John Slidell, Jefferson and the Embargo, A History of American Foreign Relations, George Washington, and George Washington and the French Revolution.
Sears was active in the Indiana and Mississippi Valley historical societies, the American Historical Association, and the Academy of Political Science. He was a fellow of the Royal History Society of Great Britain, a member of the University of Chicago Literary Society, the Cosmos Club in Washington, and Phi Beta Kappa. He was an honorary member of the Purdue chapters of Sigma Delta Chi, Scabbard and Blade, Phi Gamma Mu, Alpha Phi Omega, and the Town and Gown Club of Lafayette, Indiana.
Dr. Sears was Professor Emeritus of History at Purdue when he died on May 14, 1960, in George Washington Hospital in Washington, D.C. Sears is buried in Lockport Cemetery in Lockport, Illinois. He never married, and members of his family preceded him in death