James | MacGregor Burns | Esteemed historian, 95
The longtime Williams College professor helped coin two adjectives now common in politics: "transformational" leaders, with a vision to change the world, and "transactional" leaders, with the cunning to get things done - words used often during the 2008 presidential race for top Democratic contenders, the "transactional" Hillary Rodham Clinton and the "transformational" Barack Obama.
His two-volume biography of Roosevelt was praised by historians as a model of accessible, objective scholarship. The second volume, Roosevelt: Soldier of Freedom, was published in 1970 and won the Pulitzer and the National Book Award.
In his late 80s, he wrote a well-reviewed history of the Supreme Court, Packing the Court, and at 95, he completed a book on the Enlightenment, Fire and Light.