Gary, a noted historian, died July 29, 2021, at his home in Los Angeles. His widely published approach to American history affected the way it is taught and drove to distraction Rush Limbaugh and his listeners. Gary rejected the view that history is mostly the work of singular “great men”; instead, it is movements of many people. For his accomplishments he was given the annual Class of 1955 Award in 2008.

Gary was born July 27, 1933, in Philadelphia and attended Lower Merion High School in Ardmore, Pa. At Princeton he majored in history, joined Quadrangle Club, and played varsity squash. He was also noted for frequent visits to the Annex and an ability to stack a pyramid of empty beer cans to the ceiling of his dorm room. Gary’s nickname was Crash Nash.

After earning a Ph.D. and teaching history at Princeton, he moved to UCLA and became a leader of what became known as New Left history. One of his significant books was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize and focused on how Native Americans, working-class whites, and free and enslaved Black people were engines of change for the American Revolution. 

Gary is survived by his wife, Cindy Shelton; son David; daughters Brooke Nash, Robin Johnson, and Jennifer Nash Durante; nine grandchildren; and brother Ralph ’53. 

Undergraduate Class of 1955