Kuykendall Hall

RALPH SIMPSON KUYKENDALL (1885-1963), for whom Kuykendall Hall is named, was the dean of Hawaiian historians. He was born in Linden, California, the son of Marilla Pierce and the Rev. John Wesley Kuykendall. He earned a B.A. from the College of the Pacific and a M.A. from the University of California at Berkeley. He enrolled as a doctoral student at Berkeley but did not complete this degree. Kuykendall had a fellowship from the Native Sons of the Golden West to do research in Spain on early Spanish voyages to the Pacific coast, but in 1922 he left this work to accept a commission from the Hawaii Territorial legislature to write a history of Hawaii for public schools, a history of Hawaii in World War I, and a history of the Hawaiian monarchy.

Portrait reading book
University photo by Masao Miyamoto

He joined the faculty of the University of Hawaii in 1932. During his career there he published over 40 articles and 6 books. The publication of Kuykendall’s monumental, three-volume work, The Hawaiian Kingdom, set new standards for scholarly historiography in Hawaii. Since the publication of The Hawaiian Kingdom, ethnic historians and native Hawaiian scholars have added their own perspective to the writing of Hawaii’s history, but Kuykendall’s work remains a classic and is not likely to be supplanted.

* Kuykendall, R.S, and Charles H. Hunter. “The Publications of Ralph S. Kuykendall.”(Includes a biographical sketch) Hawaiian Journal of History 2 (1968): 136-141.


Return to Building/Names List
UH Manoa | UH System