Herbert Harvey Rowen was a noted historian of Dutch and Early Modern European history. He was born on October 22, 1916 in Brooklyn, New York to Joseph M. and Sarah Gordon Rowen. Rowen attended school in New York City, and received his Bachelor's degree from the City College of New York in 1936. After serving three years of military service for the United States Army Signal Corps, Rowen enrolled at Columbia University, where he received his Master's in History in 1948, with his thesis on “Annexation of the Congo by Belgium; a parliamentary study.” Shortly after, Rowen began to work on his doctoral degree under Columbia faculty member and European historian Garrett Mattingly. Rowen completed his PhD in 1951, with his dissertation,“Pomponne and DeWitt; a study of French policy on the eve of the Dutch War”.
Rowen held a number of university faculty positions during his career, including posts at Brandeis, University of Iowa, Elmira College, University of California and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; all before taking on a position in the Department of History at Rutgers University. Rowen remained a Rutgers faculty member for twenty-three years, until his retirement in 1987. For his work at Rutgers, Rowen received the Lindback Award for Distinguished Faculty Research in 1980. Rowen also held a number of fellowships and editorial positions, in addition to his work translating historical texts in three languages. Additionally, he earned the honor of becoming a foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Rowen died on March 31, 1999 at his home in Newtwon, Pennsylvania.
From the guide to the Guide to the Papers of Herbert H. Rowen, 1948-1999, (Rutgers University. Special Collections and University Archives)