Jane Sherron DeHart '54
Jane Sherron DeHart '54 is a lifelong scholar, celebrated historian, and one of the most influential figures in the field of women’s history today. Since graduating from Chatham Hall, she has blazed a path for women both in the classroom and out—pioneering women’s studies programs and shaping our understanding of the role women have played in the cultural and historical fabric of our nation.
DeHart’s work shines a spotlight on the pivotal role women have played in history, politics, and the legal system. Her most recent book, Ruth Bader Ginsburg: A Life, was published in 2018 and has received popular and academic acclaim being hailed as “monumental,” “compelling,” and a “vivid account of a remarkable life.” She has also previously published The Federal Theatre: Plays, Relief, and Politics; Women’s America: Refocusing the Past; and Sex, Gender, and the Politics of ERA, the latter of which won the American Political Science Association’s Victoria Shuck Award for the best book published in 1982 on women and politics.
Lauded in her field, DeHart received a Distinguished Service Award from North Carolina Governor James Hunt, served as co-Bicentennial professor of American studies at the University of Helsinki (Finland), served on boards of editors of various professional journals and numerous organizations, and was presented with the Duke University Graduate School Distinguished Alumni Award in 2019.
An art and music enthusiast, she is currently professor of history emerita at the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she lives with her husband Benjamin J. “Jerry” Cohen.