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Treasure Troves from the Past

A visit with Steven Watts, Professor, History

By LuAnne Roth
Published: - Topics: Playboy Hugh Hefner Henry Ford Walt Disney biography

How Watts Became an Historian

Topics: history careers

“That’s where it all started,” says Watts, pointing to the bust on his bookshelf. “I was born and grew up in Springfield, Illinois, in the shadow of Abraham Lincoln. From the time I was a little kid, Lincoln and the Civil War were just kind of alive, almost.” Moreover, he recalls, his great aunt, a schoolteacher, took young Watts under her wing. Discovering that he was good at history, and encouraged by his college professors, Watts decided to pursue a career in history.