Albert Raboteau, a ‘Towering Figure’ in African American Religious History, Dies at 78

September 27, 2021
Photo by Denise Applewhite, Office of Communications

Albert Raboteau Jr., the Henry W. Putnam Professor of Religion, Emeritus, died peacefully at home in Princeton on Sept. 18 following a years-long battle with Lewy Body Dementia. He was 78.

During his 30-year tenure at Princeton, Raboteau was a beloved teacher, advisor and mentor to many undergraduate and graduate students. He was also integral to the establishment of the Center for the Study of American Religion—now the Center for Culture, Society, and Religion—and the Afro-American Studies Program—now the Department of African American Studies. The Humanities Council named him an Old Dominion Research Professor, giving him an extra semester of leave, beyond his sabbatical semester from the University, to engage colleagues and students in sustained discussions of his work on campus.

In 1998, Raboteau received the Howard T. Behrman Award, Princeton’s highest award for distinguished achievement in the humanities. He was honored by the University again in 2006 with the Martin Luther King Day Journey Award for Lifetime Service in recognition of his work to advance King’s dream for America.

Raboteau received numerous other awards throughout his career, including four honorary doctorates and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Read a full obituary on the University homepage.

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