He was born in Boston on November 8, 1938, and prepared at Taft School, in Watertown, Connecticut. At Harvard he lived in Eliot House and belonged to the Hasty Pudding. He received his A.B., magna cum laude in history, with the Class in 1960 and his M.A. in history from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1961. After earning his doctorate in history at Northwestern University in 1967, he joined the faculty at Kent State University, in Kent, Ohio.
He spent his entire academic career there, teaching immigration and business history and serving as chairman of the history department.
He enjoyed travel and the arts and was active in a number of community organizations, including The Western Reserve Historical Society, the Hudson Heritage Association, the Hudson Community Chorus, and the Cleveland Sight Center, where he recorded books for the blind.
He was survived by his wife of forty-seven years, Dina (Kauders); a daughter, Emily Kite; a son, Nathaniel, M.B.A. '91; and five granddaughters.