Thomas Joseph McCormick Jr., emeritus professor of history at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, passed away on July 25 at the age of 87. Tom earned his Ph.D. at UW–Madison in 1960, after receiving his Master’s in History at the University of Cincinnati. Following teaching assignments at Ohio University and the University of Pittsburgh, Tom returned to UW–Madison in 1970, succeeding William Appleman Williams in the ground-breaking work of the Wisconsin School of Diplomatic History, furthered as well by his dear friends, Walter LaFeber (Sandy) at Cornell University and Lloyd Gardner (Nancy) at Rutgers University. Using a world-systems approach, this school of thought engaged the dynamics of hegemony to analyze U.S. involvement in world affairs.
Tom was a Woodrow Wilson Center Fellow and Distinguished Fulbright Lecturer at University College Dublin, among other laudatory assignments, and he gave guest lectures and keynote addresses at worldwide conferences, including several in Japan hosted by former student and dear friend Takeshi Matsuda (Keiko). Tom authored and co-authored six books, including the well-received China Market: America’s Quest for Informal Empire 1893–1901 (Quadrangle Books) and America’s Half-Century: United States Foreign Policy in the Cold War (John Hopkins Press). Dozens of his articles appeared in leading scholarly journals, and his name appears frequently in the footnotes of other historians’ works.