John Leonard Clive

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John Leonard Clive
Native name Hans Leo Kleyff
Born (1924-09-25)September 25, 1924
Berlin, Germany
Died January 7, 1990(1990-01-07) (aged 65)
Cause of death heart attack
Education University of North Carolina (A.B.)
Harvard University (Ph.D.)
Awards National Book Award for Biography (1974)
Scientific career
Fields Historian
Institutions University of Chicago
Harvard University

John Leonard Clive (September 25, 1924 – January 7, 1990) was an American historian. He was a professor at Harvard University and the University of Chicago. He is most well known for his biography, Thomas Babington Macaulay: The Shaping of the Historian for which he won the National Book Award for Biography and History.


Born Hans Leo Kleyff (later anglicized to John Leonard Clive) in Berlin to German-Jewish parents, he attended the Französisches Gymnasium Berlin before moving to England in 1937 where he went to Buxton College.[1] He emigrated to the United States with his family in 1940 where he attended the University of North Carolina.[2] After his graduation he entered the army and joined the OSS.[3]

In 1952 Clive received his Ph.D. from Harvard University and began teaching there. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1957.[4] That year he published Scotch Reviewers: The Edinburgh Review, 1802–1815. Clive moved to the University of Chicago in 1960 where he was an assistant and associate professor until returning to Harvard in 1965.[1] He would remain at Harvard for the rest of his career ultimately becoming the William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of History and Literature in 1979.[5]

Clive won the National Book Award for Biography and History in 1974 for Thomas Babington Macaulay: The Shaping of the Historian, and was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well.[6] Clive retired in 1989 and gave his last lecture that December. He died of a heart attack on January 7, 1990 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was posthumously awarded the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism for his final book, Not by Fact Alone: Essays on the Writing and Reading of History.


  1. ^ a b Fleming, Donald (1990). "John Leonard Clive". Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 102: 164–166. JSTOR 25081022.
  2. ^ "In Memoriam John L. Clive". American Historical Association. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  3. ^ "Clive, John L. - [Serial Number] 34674336". National Archives and Records Administration. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  4. ^ "John Clive". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  5. ^ Fowler, Glenn (January 10, 1990). "John L. Clive, Harvard Historian And an Acclaimed Biographer, 65". New York Times. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  6. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
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