Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Richard Greenleaf, 1930-2011

November 14th, 2011

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that we report the death on Tuesday, November 8 of Richard Greenleaf, former Director of the Stone Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane. He was a pioneering and towering figure in Latin American colonial history, whose scholarship, professional leadership, and mentoring of several generations of historians and Latin Americanists have had broad and profound impact. He came to Tulane in 1969, where he was an indomitable force in the life of the university until his retirement in 1998. His sister-in-law Carla Greenleaf and his student, colleague, and devoted friend, Stanley M. Hordes were major sources of support through his long struggle with Parkinson’s Disease. They both provided critical lines of communication for all of us who wanted to stay in contact with Dick. They prepared the obituary for the Times-Picayune included below. The Stone Center and colleagues at Tulane send our condolences to his family and many friends.

A funeral service will be held on Friday, November 25 at 3:00 PM at St. John’s Methodist Church, 2626 Arizona, NE, Albuquerque, NM. The Stone Center and Tulane University will host a reunion of friends and colleagues in mid-January to celebrate his life and work. Information will be sent when plans are finalized.

Tom Reese
Executive Director
Stone Center for Latin American Studies

Richard Greenleaf

Distinguished Latin American historian and Tulane University professor Dr. Richard Edward Greenleaf passed away on Tuesday, November 8 in Albuquerque, NM, after a long battle with Parkinson‘€™s Disease. Until his retirement in 1998, Dr. Greenleaf served as the France Vinton Scholes Professor of Colonial Latin American History and Director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Tulane. Dr. Greenleaf was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas on May 6, 1930. He grew up in Albuquerque, and took his Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees at the University of New Mexico, where he studied under Professor France V. Scholes. Dr. Greenleaf authored eleven major scholarly books, served as co-author of, or contributor to seventeen others, and published almost four dozen articles in the field of Latin American and Borderlands history. Dr. Greenleaf served on the editorial boards of several major publications, including the Handbook of Latin American Studies, The Americas and the Hispanic American Historical Review, and was the recipient of many distinguished awards, among them Silver Medal, Sahagun Prize: Mexican National History Award, the Serra Award of the Academy of American Franciscan History for Distinguished Scholarship in Colonial Latin American History, the New Mexico Endowment for the Humanities Award, and the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies Lifetime Achievement Award.

Richard Greenleaf began his teaching career at the University of Albuquerque in 1953. He moved to Mexico City in 1954, where he taught at the University of the Americas, later serving as Chair of the Department of History and International Relations, Academic Vice-President and Dean of the Graduate School. In 1969, he accepted a faculty position at Tulane University, assuming the directorship of the Center for Latin American Studies the following year, and the chair of the History Department in 1978. In 1982, he was installed in the France Vinton Scholes Chair in Colonial Latin American History. After his retirement from Tulane Dr. Greenleaf served as Adjunct Research Professor at the University of New Mexico. In his long and distinguished teaching career in New Mexico, Mexico City and New Orleans, Dr. Greenleaf has served as mentor to 34 doctoral students, and countless masters and undergraduate students, all of whom are greatly indebted to him for his inspiration and guidance.

Dr. Greenleaf is survived by his sister-in-law, Carla Greenleaf, nephews Randy and Robert, and several great-nieces and nephews.