William Loren Katz was the author of Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage, The Black West, Breaking the Chains, and 37 other books on American history; many focus on the struggles and contributions of African Americans. His books have won awards and his research, writing and lectures have earned widespread praise from noted scholars such as John Hope Franklin, Henry Louis Gates, Jr., John Henrik Clarke, Howard Zinn, James M. McPherson, Alice Walker, Cornel West, Ivan Van Sertima, Betty Shabazz, and Dr. Ralph Bunche. He was a highly regarded lecturer who has spoken at more than 50 universities and dozens of museums and libraries.

Author, Historian & Educator

After graduating from Syracuse University with a BA in history in 1950 and from New York University in 1952 with an MA in Secondary Education, Bill Katz taught social studies in New York City and State secondary schools and served as a curriculum consultant for 14 years. From 1967 to 2015 he was a lecturer and consultant for Boards of Education from Seattle, Washington to Dade County, Florida, including the Inner London Education Authority and the Education Departments of North Carolina and New York as well as libraries and museums.

For decades starting in 1968, Bill Katz was interviewed on Gil Noble’s award-winning television program Like It Is, appeared on NBC’s The Today Show, PBS’s Tony Brown’s Journal and many other television programs. On WBAI-FM in New York City, he hosted his own program and served as the station’s Historian in Residence for many years. Bill was often interviewed on Native American, African American and National Public Radio stations across the country. He spoke on the much overlooked alliance of Africans and Indigenous Americans for more than 500 years. Through the cable TV program, Cultural Caravans, on many occasions, Bill was either interviewed by Louise Dente or served as the interviewer of noted historians such as Gerald Horne and Craig Steven Wilder.

Starting in 1986, he wrote an “Education and Books” column in the New York Daily Challenge. His essays also appeared in The New York Times, American Legacy Magazine and Web sites, The Black World Today and Global Black News. Bill consulted with the Smithsonian Institute, a committee of the British House of Commons and a committee of the US Senate and served as a Scholar-in-Residence at Teachers College, Columbia University and at New York University.

Zinn Education Project Interview

Bill was interviewed in the Fall of 2014 as a profile of a historian who they saw as documenting untold history.

The Life of William Loren Katz in Photographs

The slideshow tells the story of William Loren Katz in photographs. The 94 pictures capture moments from his early days to his later life. The pictures show him doing what he loved, playing tennis and spending time with friends and family to giving lectures around the country. The slideshow was originally presented at his memorial service on January 11, 2020.

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