Lawrence A. Clayton


Lawrence A. Clayton was born October 5, 1942, in Summit, New Jersey. He lived in Peru for seven years. He attended Duke University (BA, 1964), and earned his MA (1969) and PhD (1972) at Tulane University in Latin American History. From 1964 to 1966 he served as an officer in the US Navy on the USS Donner (LSD-20), cruising both in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean with the 6th Fleet.

He was on the faculty of the University of Alabama from 1972 to 2013. He directed the Latin American Studies Program from 1980 to 1992. He was Chair of Department of History (2000-2007) and was Interim Chair (2009-2010). His specialties focused on Latin American history and the history of the Christian church. He is now Professor Emeritus of History.

He held two Senior Fulbright Lecturing Awards, one in 1983 to Costa Rica and one in 1988 to Peru. In 1983 he served as President of the South Eastern Council on Latin American Studies. In 1999, he held a year-long Pew Evangelical Scholars Fellowship. 

Some of his publications include:
- Alabama and the Borderlands: From Prehistory to Statehood (1985).
- Grace, W. R. Grace & Co., the Formative Years, 1850-1930 (1985).
- The Hispanic Experience in North America: Sources for Study in the United States (1992).
- The De Soto Chronicles (1993).
- A History of Modern Latin America, 3rd. ed. (forthcoming, 2017). 
- Peru and the United States: The Condor and the Eagle (1999).
- Cleared for Landing: On Living a Christian Life (2008).
- Bartolome de las Casas and the Conquest of the Americas (2011)
- Bartolome de las Casas: A Biography (2012).
- Work and Wealth in Scripture (2015)

He is currently working on the script to a new movie on the Doolittle Raid of 1942, a documentary reader on Bartolome de Las Casas (1485-1566) for Bedford St. Martin's, and two books, The Battle for Cuba: Air War Over the Bay of Pigs, April, 1961, and The Story of Hispanics in Alabama Over the Past Five Centuries. Three of his books have been translated and published in Peru and Ecuador. 

Clayton is also a licensed pilot. He and his wife Louise have two daughters and a son, Carlton, who is a pilot with TMC Charter Jets. His oldest daughter, Amy Alderman, MD (UAB) is a plastic surgeon in Alpharetta, Georgia, and Stephanie Richmond, his next oldest, is the Vice President of Human Resources for Papa Murphy's Pizza in Portland, Oregon. Both daughters have two children.

Since 2000, Clayton has participated in a Christian jail ministry program at the Tuscaloosa County Jail on a weekly basis, and his wife Louise is a licensed and ordained minister who teaches a Monday evening course on Christianity and the Bible to female inmates. They attend the Church of the Highlands. Clayton also writes a weekly column, "The Port Rail" for The Tuscaloosa News that appears on Sundays in the Op-ed section.

In November 2015 he was inducted as a Knight Commander of the Imperial Order of Charles V in the Alcazar Palace, Segovia, Spain. In February 2017, he will be inducted into the Royal Hispanic American Academy of Sciences, Arts & Letters in Cadiz, Spain.


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