Historian, Author, University President. He worked for the United States Air Force as a historian during the Second World War. He earned a Rockefeller fellowship in the humanities and American Studies at the University of Texas where he earned his Master's Degree in 1949 and later a doctorate from Tulane in 1951. He began teaching at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and at Rice University in Houston, Texas where he became a full professor by 1958 and remained with Rice until 1979 employed as department chairperson, master of Brown College, acting president, provost and vice president. He was President of the Texas A&M University from 1981 to 1988. He became President Emeritus. Between 1979 and 1981, he was president and chancellor of the University of North Texas. He wrote "Ploughshares Into Swords: Josiah Gorgas and Confederate Ordnance" in 1952, "Mighty Stonewall" in 1957 about Stonewall Jackson, "Rebel Brass: The Confederate Command System" in 1956, "Jubal's Raid: General Early's Famous Attack on Washington in 1864" in 1960, "Their Tattered Flags: The Epic of the Confederacy" in 1970, "Blood Brothers: A Short History of the Civil War" in 1992, Black Jack: The Life & Times of John J. Pershing" in 1977 which was a nominee for the National Book Award, "Shadows of Vietnam: Lyndon Johnson's War" in 1997, "1001 Things Everyone Should Know About World War II" in 2000. His first wife Carol Sue Smith Vandiver died in 1979, he is survived by his second wife Renee Aubry Vandiver(married in 1981), 2 daughters Nita W. Jackson & Nancy A. Wahl and a son, Frank A. all of Houston, Texas. In 1969, he was finally awarded his high school diploma when Houston City schools voted to award him the one degree that he never had in his life.
Bio by: Genet
Carol Sue Smith Vandiver