John E. Baur, a professor of history at Cal State Northridge for nearly three decades, has died at a Chatsworth convalescent hospital. He was 71.
Baur, a longtime North Hills resident, died Saturday of bone cancer, said history professor James Sefton, Baur’s office mate for 28 years.
Born in Chicago, Baur came to California as a child during the late 1920s and remained for the rest of his life. After attending Los Angeles City College during the 1940s, he transferred to UCLA, where he received his bachelor’s degree in history in 1945.
Baur then pursued a master’s degree at UCLA, which he received in 1947. He completed his Ph.D. in 1951, writing his dissertation on frontier settlers who traveled to California for their health.
Following college, Baur joined the staff of a Los Angeles museum in the 1950s where he worked for seven years in the history division as a tour guide, researcher and author.
In 1964, Baur joined CSUN’s history department. He taught at the university for 29 years until illness forced him to take a medical leave of absence earlier this year. According to Sefton, Baur specialized in the history of the Old West, California and the Caribbean.
“We already miss John’s modesty, his total dedication to teaching and his contributions to California history,” said department chair Thomas R. Maddux in a statement. “John brought out the best in others, as demonstrated by the way his friends have helped him over the past six months.”
Among his professional accomplishments, Baur received the university’s distinguished teaching award in 1971. He was also the author of 38 academic articles and five books whose topics included the role of dogs on the Western frontier and Christmas in the Old West.
In addition, Baur was also a member of the history department’s Whitsett Committee and the Pacific Coast branch of the American Historical Assn.
He is survived by no immediate relatives.
A funeral will be held Friday at 2:30 p.m. at the Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills Memorial Park, 6300 Forest Lawn Drive, Los Angeles. Bastian & Perrott Mortuary in Northridge is handling arrangements.
A separate memorial service will be held at 3:30 p.m. Oct. 7 in Room 129 of CSUN’s Fine Arts building. Information regarding donations in Baur’s name will be available at that time.