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2016 Hall of Fame

M.A. History, ’79, ’76, Ph.D.

Bob Blackburn, a native Oklahoman, has served as executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society since 1999. He joined the OHS in 1980 as editor of The Chronicles of Oklahoma & became deputy director for agency operations in 1990.


Blackburn is a 1973 graduate of Southwest OSU, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in history. He earned his M.A. & Ph.D. in history from OSU. Blackburn grew up in Edmond & graduated from Putnam City High School in 1969.


Blackburn published several articles & his first book while still in graduate school & has since written or co-authored 18 books & numerous articles, journal entries, & screen plays. He is a steady source of historical information to the media & has appeared numerous times on the History Channel.


He was instrumental in planning & building the Oklahoma History Center, a 215,000 square foot museum & research center. Blackburn has served on numerous national & regional boards & committees, including the Western History Association, the Oklahoma Association of Professional Historians, the AIA, & Leadership Oklahoma City.


His hobbies are reading, running, carpentry, landscaping & golf. He is married to former State Representative Debbie Blackburn & they have one son, Beau, who is a professional photographer in San Diego, California.

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