Slavery historian Ira Berlin dead at 77

NEW YORK — Prize-winning and influential slavery scholar Ira Berlin has died.

Berlin’s death was confirmed Wednesday by the University of Maryland, where he was a history professor. He was 77. The university did not immediately have additional details about his death.

Berlin’s books included “Generations of Captivity,” “Slaves Without Masters” and “Many Thousands Gone: The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America,” for which he won the Bancroft Prize.

At the University of Maryland, he helped lead the Freedmen and Southern Society Project, which has done exhaustive research on emancipation and life in the South after the Civil War.

Berlin wrote the introduction for a tie-in book to the acclaimed movie “Twelve Years a Slave.” He also was an adviser for HBO’s documentary about former slaves, “Unchained Memories.”

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