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Edward C. Blackorby
Edward C. Blackorby was born and educated in North Dakota, earning a B.A. at Mayville State University and the M.A. and Ph.D. at the University of North Dakota. He also did postgraduate work at the
University of Minnesota, Iowa State University and the American University in Washington, D.C. He spent fifty-one years teaching, the last twenty years as a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award in 1968. He also taught at Dickinson State University and the University of North Dakota, and was a teacher and administrator in North Dakota public schools for nineteen years.
Best known for his book Prairie Rebel: The Public Life of William Lemke, Dr. Blackorby also wrote for many publications, including North Dakota History, Journal of American History, The Dictionary of American Biography, and Essays on Western History. His special interests were in the history of the West and the Agrarian and Progressive movements in America. A professor emeritus of history, Dr. Blackorby retired in 1980 when he and his wife Jewel moved to Friendship Village in Bloomington, Minnesota. In his retirement, he completed the history of Usher L. Burdick and his influence on politics in North Dakota and nationally as he served ten terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. The biography,Prairie Populist: The Life and Times of Usher L. Burdick, was published by the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the Institute for Regional Studies in December 2001. Dr. Blackorby died
August 28, 2002, at the age of 91.
Prairie Populist: The Life and Times of Usher L. Burdick
Dr. Edward C. Blackorby tells of Burdick's frontier upbringing on Graham's Island near Devils Lake, North Dakota, his political career in the North Dakota
Legislature, and ten terms in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The biography also details the personal side of Burdick's life, including his involvement with the Indian people of the state, his abiding interest in the history of North Dakota, and his family relationships, particularly with his son, Quentin, who served North Dakota as a U.S. senator for 32 years.
Published jointly on December 1, 2001, by the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the Institute for Regional Studies, Blackorby's book was edited by Janet Daley, former editor of North Dakota History, published quarterly by the State Historical Society.