Charles S. and Pauline R. Maier

“I couldn’t go see Castro. I’m still pretty annoyed by it,” she said, referring to her punishment for the offense. “It was a historic event, and I missed it.”

After graduating in 1960, Charles with a degree in History and Pauline with a degree in History and Literature, the couple went to England for a year to further their studies. He had received a Henry Fellowship at St. Antony’s College, Oxford, and she was a Fulbright scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Afterward, they married at Oxford and toured Europe together.

“How lucky he was to find such an intelligent and beautiful companion for life in Pauline Maier,” said Bryce E. Nelson ’59, Charles’s former colleague on The Crimson. “He obviously has much going for him if he could persuade her to marry him.”

The couple later returned to Harvard, where they began to pursue doctorate degrees in history. Charles focused on European history, while Pauline found herself drawn to American history.

“This couple basically covers the northern hemisphere in terms of history,” said Susan J. Diamond ’60, Pauline’s friend from Radcliffe. “That’s sort of a good portion of the civilized world, so they complement each other. They draw on each other.”



Eventually, both were able to secure tenured professorships in Cambridge—Charles returned to Harvard, where he has served as chair of the Committee on Degrees in Social Studies and director of the Center for European Studies, and Pauline found her way to MIT, where she mostly teaches early American history.

After raising three children, the couple now looks forward to evenings spent with their dogs and weekends spent at their home in Rhode Island, where Charles drives a tractor around while Pauline gardens and cooks.

Diamond said that Pauline best summed up her life with Charles in one sentence: “I’d gladly live the same life over again.”

—Staff writer Anna M. Yeung can be reached at


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