Born in 1925 in Buffalo, N.Y., he was educated at the Hotchkiss School and Princeton, from which he received an A.B. degree in history and a doctorate in 1950. He served during World War II in the Navy. A distinguished historian of 16th- and 17th-century British/Scottish history, he spent his life as a college professor, teaching generations of undergraduates and graduate students, first at Princeton from 1950 to 1959, then at the University of Illinois until 1966, and finally at the Douglass College Department of History at Rutgers University. He eventually chaired the history department at Douglass.
In 1987 he was appointed the Margaret A. Judson Professor of History in honor of his teachings at Douglass in the Tudor/Stuart field. He wrote 10 books, primarily focused on the Stuart period of British/Scottish history. For his lifetime of work in Scottish history, he was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1994 from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland.
Helen, his wife of more than 50 years, died of Alzheimer’s in 1999. Maurice is survived by two children, Maurice D. Lee III ’72 and L. Blair Lee; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.