Willard Hughes Rollings

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Willard Hughes Rollings
Born(1948-09-08)September 8, 1948
DiedJuly 30, 2008(2008-07-30) (aged 59)
ResidenceLas Vegas, Clark County, Nevada
Alma materNew Mexico State University
Texas Tech University
OccupationHistorian of Native Americans
Spouse(s)Barbara Williams-Rollings (deceased)
Parent(s)Ira and Georgia Luella Rollings
(1) Rollings wrote two books each on the history of the Osage Nation and Comanche tribes. (2) Rollings served nearly two decades on the faculty of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Willard Hughes Rollings (September 8, 1948 – July 30, 2008) was a scholar of Native American history and of the Māori, the indigenous people of New Zealand.

Rollings was born in Farmington in northwestern New Mexico, to Ira Rollings and Georgia Luella Rollings (1918–1987). He was reared and graduated from high school in Socorro in the Rio Grande Valley of west central New Mexico. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1971 and his Master of Arts in 1975, both in history, from New Mexico State University in Las Cruces and his Ph.D. in 1983 from Texas Tech University in Lubbock. He was appointed to the history faculty of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) in 1989 and became a full professor since 2005. Previously, he taught at Missouri State University in Springfield, Texas Tech, and at high schools in Socorro and New Laguna, New Mexico, and Valencia, Venezuela.

Rollings, who was of Cherokee descent, authored four books and numerous essays on Indian history. His books are studies of the Osage Nation and Comanche tribes. He held a postdoctoral fellowship at the D'Arcy McNickle Center for the History of the American Indian at the Newberry Library in Chicago and a Fulbright Scholarship to New Zealand, where he studied the culture and history of the Māori and also spent time in Christchurch and Wellington.

At UNLV, Rollings taught the history of the American West, Native American history, Nevada history, and specialty courses on Native Americans. He was involved in the establishment of UNLV's first Ph.D. program in the history of the American West.[1]

Rollings died at Desert Springs Hospital in Paradise, a suburb of Las Vegas. He was preceded in death by his wife, Barbara Williams-Rollings, the former UNLV Special Projects Coordinator.[2]


  • Unaffected by the Gospel: Osage Resistance to the Christian Invasion, 1673–1906: A Cultural Victory. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 2004.[3]
  • The Comanche. The Indians of North America Series. Revised ed. New York: Chelsea House, 2004.
  • The Osage: An Ethnohistorical Study of Hegemony on the Prairie-Plains. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1992.
  • The Comanche. New York City: Chelsea House, 1989.[4]


  1. ^ "Obituary: Willard Hughes Rollings". Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. August 3, 2008.
  2. ^ "In Memoriam: Barbara Williams-Rollings" (PDF). UNLV. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  3. ^ Fausz, J. Frederick (January 1, 2005). "Book Review: Unaffected by the Gospel: Osage Resistance to the Christian Invasion, 1673-1906: A Cultural Victory". Great Plains Quarterly. Retrieved December 2, 2015.
  4. ^ "The Comanche". Amazon.com. Retrieved December 2, 2015.