T. R. Fehrenbach

Theodore Reed "T. R." Fehrenbach, Jr. (January 12, 1925 – December 1, 2013) was an American historian, columnist, and the former head of the Texas Historical Commission (1987-1991).[1] He graduated from Princeton University in 1947[2] and wrote more than twenty books, including the bestseller Lone Star: A History of Texas and Texans[3] and This Kind of War, about the Korean War. Senator John McCain called this book “perhaps the best book ever written on the Korean War”.[4] Secretary of Defense James Mattis said “There’s a reason I recommended T.R. Fehrenbach’s book...that we all pull it out and read it one more time.”[5][6][7]

T. R. Fehrenbach, Jr.
Born(1925-01-12)January 12, 1925
DiedDecember 1, 2013(2013-12-01) (aged 88)
ResidenceSan Antonio, Texas
Columnist for San Antonio Express-News and other publications
Spouse(s)Lillian Fehrenbach

Although he served as a U.S. Army officer during the Korean War, his own service is not mentioned in the book. Fehrenbach also wrote for Esquire, The Atlantic, The Saturday Evening Post, and The New Republic.[8] He wrote popular histories of Texas,[9] Mexico, and the Comanche people.[4] For almost 30 years, he wrote a weekly column on Sundays for the San Antonio Express-News. On August 23, 2013, T.R. Fehrenbach announced that he would retire from writing columns because of declining health.[10] T.R. Fehrenbach died of a congenital heart defect at Northeast Baptist Hospital in San Antonio on December 1, 2013.[11][12]

Selected bibliography

  • U. S. Marines In Action, 1962, LCCN 62-2205. Republished in 2000, ISBN 1-58586-062-X
  • This Kind of War: A Study In Unpreparedness 1963, LCCN 63-9972. Republished in 1998 as This Kind Of War: The Classic Korean War History ISBN 1-57488-161-2, LCCN 98-27350
  • Crossroads in Korea, the Historic Siege of Chipyong-Ni, 1966, LCCN 66-10022
  • The Gnomes of Zurich, 1966, LCCN 66-77383
  • The Swiss Banks, 1966, LCCN 65-28589
  • This Kind Of Peace, 1966, LCCN 66-17238
  • FDR's Undeclared War, 1939–1941, 1967, LCCN 67-13415
  • Greatness to Spare: The Heroic Sacrifices of the Men Who Signed the Declaration of Independence, 1968, LCCN 68-30756. Republished in 2000, ISBN 0-7351-0164-7
  • The Fight for Korea: from the War of 1950 to the Pueblo Incident, 1969, LCCN 68-29982
  • The United Nations in war and peace, 1968, LCCN 68-23669
  • Lone Star: A History of Texas and the Texans, 1968, LCCN 68-25222. Republished in 2000, ISBN 0-306-80942-7, LCCN 00-21771
  • Fire And Blood: A History Of Mexico, 1973, LCCN 72-91265. Republished in 1995, ISBN 0-306-80628-2, LCCN 94-45811
  • Comanches: The Destruction of a People, 1974, LCCN 73-20761. Republished in 2003 as Comanches: The History of a People, ISBN 1-4000-3049-8, LCCN 2003-267713
  • Seven Keys To Texas, 1983, ISBN 0-87404-069-8, LCCN 82-74272
  • Texas: A Salute from Above, 1985, ISBN 0-940672-28-6, LCCN 84-52739

Sources for book publication data: United States Library of Congress, Amazon.com.

T. R. Fehrenbach Award

The Texas Historical Commission gives this award to recognize books about Texas history and pre-history. The award is given annually.[1]


  1. T.R. Fehrenbach Book Award Archived 2009-01-06 at the Wayback Machine, Texas Historical Commission, retrieved 2009-02-22
  2. "T.R. Fehrenbach." The Complete Marquis Who's Who. Marquis Who's Who, 2008. Gale Biography In Context. Web. Retrieved 6 Jan. 2011. Document URL Gale Document Number: GALE|K2014301392. Fee, via Fairfax County Public Library.
  3. Swartz, Mimi (January 23, 2009). "Oil Portraits". New York Times. ..there is, in fact, a Texas canon. Opinions vary, but my list would include T. R. Fehrenbach’s “Lone Star,” ...
  4. Martin, Douglas (3 December 2013). "T.R. Fehrenbach, Historian, Dies at 88; Chronicler of Larger-Than-Life Texas". New York Times. Retrieved 13 January 2018.
  5. "The Book Mattis Reads to Be Prepared for War With North Korea". POLITICO Magazine. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  6. "Defense Secretary Jim Mattis reads this book to be prepared for war with North Korea". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  7. Kesling, Ben (2017-10-09). "On North Korea, Mattis Stresses Diplomacy, But Advises Army to Be Ready". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  8. "T(heodore) R(eed) Fehrenbach, (Jr.)." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2001. Gale Biography In Context. Retrieved 6 Jan. 2011. Document URL Gale Document Number: GALE|H1000030971. Fee, via Fairfax County Public Library.
  9. Roberts, Sam (May 19, 1994). "A Rank That Rankles: New York Slips to No. 3; Now Texas Is 2d Most Populous State". New York Times. ...T. R. Fehrenbach, second to none as a Texas historian.
  10. A farewell from an author and historian
  11. He made history read like the news
  12. "Noted Texas historian, author T.R. Fehrenbach dies". Star-telegram.com. Retrieved 2013-12-02.


  • Fehrenbach, T. R., Comanches: The Destruction of a People, Knopf, New York, 1974
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