Oklahoma historian, author Danney Goble dies at 60


His book about Carl Albert was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1990.

Oklahoma historian and biographer Danney Goble died Thursday in his Tulsa home after a long illness. He was 60. Services are pending with Moore's Rosewood Funeral Home. Known for his colorful and often humorous takes on Oklahoma history, Goble first achieved notice during the 1980s with his biography of former U.S. House Speaker Carl Albert. Goble was a University of Oklahoma faculty member at the time of his death, teaching courses on both the Norman and Tulsa campuses. "Danney Goble was a gifted writer and historian," OU President David Boren said. "His book 'Progressive Oklahoma' will remain a classic for its description of how the different historic roots of Oklahoma and Indian Territory have continued to impact the political traditions of eastern and western Oklahoma." Bob Blackburn, executive director of the Oklahoma Historical Society, said Goble was un- usually adept at analysis and communication and in his determination to specialize in a field generally snubbed by academia. "Danney was a brilliant historian," Blackburn said. "He was the leading historian to advocate the idea that to understand Oklahoma you have to understand it as a Southern state. "He had an endearing combination of wit and cynicism," Blackburn said. "Sometimes it got him into trouble, but he would look at you with that twinkle in his eye, and it was as if he was saying, 'I got 'em.' " The Albert book, "Little Giant," was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1990. Two previous books, "Progressive Oklahoma -- The Making of a New State" and "Oklahoma Politics: A History," with James R. Scales, also had been met with praise. Goble's other books include "The Story of Oklahoma," a textbook written with W. David Baird, and "Tulsa! The Biography of an American City," a 1998 Oklahoma Book Award finalist. Another Goble book, the fourth edition of "Historical Atlas of Oklahoma," with Charles Robert Goins, was nominated for an Oklahoma Book Award just last month. Among Goble's other publications was the historical overview section of the Tulsa Race Riot Commission report, issued in 2001. Goble was born in Stillwater, grew up in Edmond and received a bachelor's degree from the University of Central Oklahoma. After completing a master's degree at the University of Oklahoma, Goble taught at the University of Missouri while completing a doctorate. He joined the faculty of what was then Tulsa Junior College in 1971. Goble joined the Carl Albert Congressional Research and Studies Center at the University of Oklahoma in 1990. He also taught at Rogers University -- now Oklahoma State University-Tulsa -- and the University of Tulsa. Survivors include his wife, Connie Murray; two daughters, Codie Chaudoin of Millersville, Md., and Hannah Goble of Madison, Wis.; two sons, Geoffrey Goble of Kunming, China, and Grant Goble of Norman; and a sister, Marzell Clubb of Edmond.