Adam Ulam, the Gurney Professor of History and Political Science, Emeritus, at Harvard University, was one of the world’s foremost authorities on Russia and the Soviet Union. He was a member of the Harvard faculty from 1947 until his retirement in 1992. Over the years, he trained thousands of undergraduate and graduate students, including many who went on to high-level posts in academia, government, business, and the media. Among his students were Robert Kennedy and Henry Kissinger.
Ulam was affiliated with Harvard’s Russian Research Center (renamed the Davis Center for Russian Studies in 1997) for more than 50 years. He twice served as the Center’s director, from 1973 to 1976 and from 1980 to 1992. During his tenure, the Center became one of the leading institutions in the world for the study of the Soviet Union. Marshall Goldman, associate director of the Davis Center, described Ulam as “a Renaissance man who knew and had heard of and had thought about everything. If you wanted to know something, rather than go to a reference librarian, you would go to Adam.”