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The Loss of a Legend

James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr.

James "Bud" Robertson in his home study with a few of his published works.
James "Bud" Robertson in his home study with a few of his published works.

“History is the greatest teacher you will ever have,” James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr. often told his students. If history is the greatest teacher, many of them might have argued, then he was the second greatest.

Robertson, Alumni Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at Virginia Tech, died on November 2, 2019.

During his 44 years at the university, Dr. Bud taught more than 25,000 Virginia Tech students.

In several instances, he ended up teaching three generations of the same families.

Dr. Bud was also the founding director of the Virginia Center for Civil War Studies. He used vivid stories to bring the American Civil War to life, not just for Virginia Tech students, but also for millions across the world through his award-winning books, frequent television appearances, popular radio essays, and passionate advocacy of history. Thanks to him and those he inspired, Virginia Tech is widely known as a leading home of Civil War history.