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Henry C. Dethloff
Born Henry Clay Dethloff
(1934-08-10)August 10, 1934
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
Died January 25, 2019(2019-01-25) (aged 84)
College Station, Texas, U.S.
Alma mater University of Texas at Austin
Northwestern State University
University of Missouri
  • Academic
  • author
Political party Republican[1]
Spouse(s) Myrtle Anne Elliott (m. 1961)
Children 2

Henry Clay Dethloff (August 10, 1934 – January 25, 2019)[2] was a professor emeritus of history at Texas A&M University in College Station who wrote more than two dozen books on such topics as space program, business, and Texas A&M itself, the institution with which he was primarily affiliated during his academic career.


The son of Carl Curt Dethloff (1900–1977) and the former Camelia Jordan (1907–2000), Dethloff was born in New Orleans[1] and reared in Natchitoches, Louisiana, where he was greatly influenced by Cane River Lake. He became such a robust swimmer that he swam the width of Cane River Lake entirely underwater. He was also a skilled angler. His obituary indicates that Dethloff "made friends easily, had a zest for living, exhibited a great sense of joy, and journeyed through life with a twinkle in his eye and a skip in his step."[2]

His brother, Carl Richard "Dick" Dethloff (1929–2007), a graduate of Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas, became a prominent insurance agent in Shreveport, Louisiana, where he lived from 1957 until his death. Dick Dethloff was married to the former Bobbie Winstead (1931-2017), a native of Jackson, Mississippi, and a member of the Shreveport Club.[3] Dethloff also has a surviving sister, Cammie D. Girand, of Dallas.

Dethloff graduated in 1952 from Natchitoches High School. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1956 from the University of Texas at Austin, his Master of Arts in 1960 from Northwestern State University, and his Ph.D in 1964 from the University of Missouri at Columbia, Missouri. While an undergraduate at UT, he became a brother of the Sigma Chi fraternity.[4] Dethloff was an officer in the United States Navy from 1956 to 1958. He joined the TAMU faculty in 1969 and served as the department chairman from 1980 to 1985. From 1962 to 1969, he was, respectively, an instructor, assistant professor, and associate professor at the University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette,[1] now known as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. As a professor, he was considered by students as a "riveting story teller, masterful in his content knowledge, and an arduous grader."[2]

Dethloff and the former Myrtle Anne Elliott, married on August 27, 1961. Residents of College Station, the couple had two sons, Carl Henry Dethloff and Clay Elliott Dethloff.[1]


One of his most publicized works is A Pictorial History of Texas A & M: A Tradition in Higher Education, which was published as two titles in 1975: A Pictorial History of Texas A & M University: 1876-1976 (Texas A&M University Press) and A Centennial History of Texas A & M University: 1876-1976 (the Association of Former Students in conjunction with TAMU Press).[1] In the A&M history, he attributes much of the expansion of the institution and the introduction of women as students to the work of State Senator William T. "Bill" Moore, who served in the upper chamber of the legislature from 1949 to 1981.[5]

Dethloff's other books include:

  • The United States and the Global Economy Since 1945
  • Texas Aggies Go to War: In Service to Their Country (with John A. Adams, Jr.)
  • Voyagers Grand Tour: To the Outer Planets and Beyond (with Joli A. Ballew, 2003, includes access to the archives of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration)
  • Suddenly Tomorrow Came: A History of the Johnson Space Center[1]
  • A Bookmark: Texas A&M University Press
  • Our Louisiana Legacy (an examination at how Louisiana culture has affected the nation)
  • Special Kind of Doctor: A History of Veterinary Medicine in Texas
  • Southwestern Agriculture: Pre-Columbian to Modern
  • Pattillo Higgins and the Search for Texas Oil (with Robert W. McDaniel)
  • Sterling C. Evans: Life, Learning, and Literature.

Dethloff established extensive archives of his publication materials at the Sterling C. Evans Library at TAMU. He was affiliated with Phi Kappa Phi, Sigma Chi, and the Texas State, the Louisiana, Agriculture, and Economic history associations.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Henry Clay Dethloff, Who's Who in America, 47th ed. (1992-1993), p. 849.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Dr. Henry C. Dethloff". Retrieved January 26, 2019. 
  3. "Bobbie Winstead Dethloff (sister-in-law of Henry C. Dethloff)". Retrieved February 27, 2017. 
  4. Cactus Yearbook. Austin, TX: University of Texas. 1966. p. 322. [dead link]
  5. Robert C. Borden, "Bull of the Brazos dies: Moore was champion of Texas A&M," Bryan-College Station Eagle, May 28, 1999, pp. 1-3.

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