best known for his "Frontier Thesis
He received his B.A in 1884 and his M.A. in 1888. Then, in 1890, he received his Ph.D. in history from Johns Hopkins and returned to teach at the University of Wisconsin. He taught later at Harvard from 1910 to 1924.
His work on American culture's unique characteristics were written about in Rise of the New West (1906), The Frontier in American History (1920) and The Significance of Sections in American History (1932) which received the Pulitzer Prize posthumously.