Robert Gerald Livingston (1927-2023)

September 28, 2023

The German Historical Institute mourns the death of Robert Gerald Livingston, who was a Senior Visiting Research Fellow at the GHI since 1997.

Born in 1927, Livingston studied at Harvard University, where he also earned his PhD. From 1956 to 1974, he was a U.S. Foreign Service Officer, with postings in Salzburg, Hamburg, Belgrade, Berlin, Bonn, and Washington, DC. In 1974 he became Vice President of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, headquartered in Washington, and went on to serve as its President from 1977 to 1981. After a stint as research professor at Georgetown University, in 1983 he became the founding director of the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS, now the American-German Institute) of the Johns Hopkins University, serving until 1994. Livingston made the AICGS an important player in the world of Washington think tanks. From the outset, he made sure that AICGS connected academic research and policy work – and covered both West and East Germany. As Senior Visiting Fellow at the GHI, Livingston provided valuable advice to the members of the Institute, especially regarding programming about postwar German history. Many will remember his incisive questions after lectures at the Institute. His presence, his knowledge, and his advice made a great contribution to the life of the Institute; he will be missed.