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Romani, George T. (George Thomas), 1917-1977



  • Existence: 1917-1977


George Thomas Romani was born in San Francisco, California on March 7, 1917. Romani joined the faculty of Northwestern University in 1947, remaining until his death in 1977. His research focused on European history, particularly Italian cultural and intellectual history.

Romani's parents were Rose A. (nee Depaoli) and George Charles Romani. In 1937 he received a Bachelor of Arts with a major in history from the University of California-Berkeley. He then entered the graduate program at Berkeley, further developing his interest in European history, particularly intellectual and cultural history and modern Italian history. He received a Master of Arts in 1939. His master's thesis was entitled “The Franco-Italian Alliance 1858-1859”.

In 1942 Romani married Margaret W. Lorenz, who also attended the University of California-Berkeley as an English major. The Romanis had no children.

Romani joined the armed services in 1942 and was assigned to the United States Naval Training School at the University of Colorado, for an intensive one year study of Japanese. He then spent three years in the Pacific as a prisoner of war interrogator in the United States Naval Reserve, first as an Ensign and eventually as Lieutenant (j.g.). In 1946 he returned to civilian life and his studies at Berkeley. In June 1947 he received a PhD. in history from Berkeley. His doctoral dissertation was entitled, “The Neapolitan Revolution, 1820-1821: A Study of the Factors Explaining Its Failure”.

Romani joined the Northwestern University faculty as Instructor of History in 1947. He became an Assistant Professor in 1950, Associate Professor in 1954 and Professor in 1966. Roman's teaching fields reflected his major interests, European cultural and intellectual history, especially as they related to Italian influences. He taught a broad range of courses including: Early Modern Europe, Intellectual History of Europe, Diplomatic History of Europe, Historians and Historiography and other related courses and seminars.

In 1950 Romani's thesis was published as the sixth volume of the Northwestern University Press Social Studies Series. During the 1952-1953 academic year after being awarded a Fulbright Fellowship he studied “The Italian Cultural Scene in the Eighteenth Century” in Italy until he was forced to return to the United States in April 1953, after suffering an attack of amoebic enteritis. He continued his research, receiving various grants from Northwestern's Graduate School. In 1959-1960 he again went to Italy to study “Italian Culture in the Eighteenth Century and Its Influence Abroad” on a Guggenheim Fellowship. He also became an active member in the Society for Italian Historical Studies.

At Northwestern, Romani was involved in various departmental and university duties in addition to his regular teaching load. These included serving as Director of the M.A. Program and Fulbright Fellowships and College of Liberal Arts committees on Probation, the Humanities, the Social Sciences, Advising and Honors and faculty promotions. Additionally, he was a member of the selection committee for Region IX of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation.

During the late 1960s and early 1970s Romani was plagued with numerous health problems that at times curtailed his teaching duties. On January 6, 1977 Romani suffered a massive heart attack in his home. He died later that day in Evanston Hospital and was buried in Inglewood, California.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:

George T. Romani (1917-1977) Papers

Identifier: 11/3/16/5
Abstract The George T. Romani Papers comprise 11 boxes of material generated during his career as a college student and teacher, 1935-1977. The papers are divided into five general categories: Biographical Materials, Student Materials: University of California-Berkeley, Correspondence, Academic Files and Writings and Research. The bulk of the collection consists of his Academic Files which span Romani's thirty year career at Northwestern University, 1947-1977. His research focused on European...
Dates: 1935-1977