K. Jack Bauer Award


In 1988, the North American Society for Oceanic History (NASOH) created the K. Jack Bauer Award to honor those who have given distinguished service to NASOH and have made life-time contributions to the field of maritime history. Jack Bauer (1926-1987) was a dear friend and colleague of many founding members of NASOH and a mentor to many other younger people, who followed him to become members of NASOH and active scholars in the fields of maritime or military history. Karl Jack Bauer was born on 30 July 1926 in Springfield, Ohio, the son of Charles August Bauer, an engineer, and Isabelle Fairbanks Bauer. Jack Bauer completed his undergraduate work at Harvard College in 1948 and went on to graduate study at Indiana University, where he earned his M.A. in 1949 and his Ph.D. degree in 1953. On 18 August 1951, he married Dorothy Sargent, with whom he had three children: Eric, Neil, and Anne.

Jack Bauer worked at the National Archives as an archivist in 1954-55, then in 1955-57 was appointed an historian with the U.S. Marine Corps Historical Branch, where he worked on a volume of the U.S.M.C. history of World War II. In 1957, he transferred to the Naval History Division, where he worked with Samuel Eliot Morrison’s staff in preparing the monumental History of Naval Operations in World War II. After four years as an assistant professor at Morris Harvey College from 1961 to 1965, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute appointed him an associate professor in 1965 and then professor of history in 1970, serving there for the reminder of his career. In 1977-78, he was visiting professor at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth.

His publications were substantial: In 1957, he published List of World War I Signal Corps Films(National Archives, 1957); with James G. Boland, he edited the first volume of The Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships (Naval History Division, 1959); Surfboats and Horse Marines: U.S. Naval Operations in the Mexican War, 1846-48 (Naval Institute Press,1969); Ships of the Navy – Combat Vessels (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1970), which was revised and extended by Stephen S. Roberts as Register of Ships of the U.S. Navy, 1775-1990 : Major Combatants (Greenwood Press, 1995). He wrote The Mexican War, 1846-1848 (Macmillan, 1974) and was associate editor with Paolo Coletta and Robert G. Albion of American Secretaries of the Navy (Naval Institute Press, 1980). He edited The New American State Papers: Naval Affairs (Scholarly Resources, 1981) and edited with Benjamin F. Gilbert, Ports in the West (Sunflower University Press, 1983), and with Paolo Coletta, U.S. Naval and Marine Corps Bases (Greenwood Press, 1985). His final major work was Soldier, Planter, Statesman: Zachary Taylor and the Old Southwest (Louisiana State University Press, 1986). Jack Bauer served on the Secretary of the Navy’s Advisory Committee on Naval History, and was a trustee of the American Military Institute, 1959-1962 and in 1980. 

K. Jack Bauer died in Troy, New York, at the age of 61 on 17 September 1987.

K. Jack Bauer Awardees:

2011 - Gene Allen Smith

2010 - James Morris

2006 - Charles Schultz

2005 - William S. Dudley

2004 - Charles Dana Gibson and E. Kay Gibson

2003 - John B. Hattendorf

2001 - Briton C. Busch

2000 - Harold D. Langley

1999 - Mary Ellen Condon-Rall

1998 - Phillip L. Lundeberg

1997 - William J. Morgan

1996 - Ira Dye

1995 - Virginia S. Wood

1994 - Barry M. Gough

1993 - Clark G. Reynolds

1992 - Dean C. Allard

1991 - Byrne Waterman

1990 - James C. Bradford

1989 - Timothy J. Runyan

1988 - William N. Still. Jr