Dr. Mabee earned an undergraduate degree from Bates College and a doctorate in history from Columbia University, developing a specialty in American social history. Before joining the New Paltz faculty in 1965, he taught in Michigan and Indiana, and at Clarkson University. He retired in 1984 but remained actively engaged with the department, the College, and issues in the region, including serving as town historian for Gardiner, where he had resided for many decades.
Dr. Mabee was a prolific author, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 1944 for “American Leonardo: The Life of Samuel F.B. Morse.” He was the author of numerous other books about people and place, including several focusing on the history and people of the Hudson Valley. In 1965, he published “Sojourner Truth: Slave, Prophet, Legend,” co-authored with his daughter. His writing and interests embraced a broad array of social issues, including land conservation controversies in the Hudson Valley.
Funeral services will be held this Saturday, Dec. 20, at 11 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in New Paltz. Services will be followed by a lunch in the Fellowship Hall.