Peter Gay Photo

Peter Gay

Born: Jun 20, 1923

Death: May 12, 2015

Birthplace: Berlin

Profession: Writer

Nationality: United States

Peter Gay

Date of Birth : Jun 20, 1923
Date of Death : May 12, 2015
Birth Place : Berlin

Peter Gay was an American historian, educator and author. He was Sterling Professor of History at Yale University and former director of the New York Public Library's Center for Scholars and Writers. Gay received the American Historical Association's Award for Scholarly Distinction in 2004. He authored over 25 books, including The Enlightenment: An Interpretation, a multi-volume award winner; Weimar Culture: The Outsider as Insider, a bestseller; and the widely translated Freud: A Life for Our Time. Peter Gay was born in Berlin in 1923 and immigrated to the United States in 1941. From 1948 to 1955 he was a political science professor at Columbia University, and then a history professor from 1955 to 1969. He left Columbia in 1969 to join Yale University’s History Department as Professor of Comparative and Intellectual European History, and was named Sterling Professor of History in 1984. Sander L. Gilman, a literary historian at Emory University, called Gay "one of the major American historians of European thought, period".


  • Writer
  • Professor
  • Author
  • Historian

Also known as

  • Peter Joachim Fröhlich


  • Ruth Slotkin

Awards Won

  • Guggenheim Fellowship for Humanities, US & Canada
  • National Book Award for History and Biography (Nonfiction)
  • American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for History
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