NOVEMBER 13, 2005


Born on March 26, 1933, near Pine Ridge Oglala Sioux Reservation, Deloria served in the U.S. Marine Corps and earned a Bachelor’s degree from Iowa State University before receiving a Master’s degree in theology from the Lutheran School of Theology in Illinois.  He was Vice President of the National Congress of American Indians (1964-67); earned a law degree at the University of Colorado (1970); at the University of Arizona, he taught political science (1978-90) and history (1990-2000), and established the first American Indian Studies Master’s degree program in the U.S.  Vine published 29 books.  His first book, Custer Died for Your Sins, demythologized how white America thought of American Indians.  In We Talk, You Listen: New Tribes, New Turf (1970) and God is Red (1973), he argued that corporate values were destroying America and urged a return to American Indian spiritual traditions.  In 2018, he was one of the first inductees into the National Native American Hall of Fame.  Deloria died in Golden, Colorado.

Source:  Kirk Johnson, "Vine Deloria Jr., Champion of Indian Rights, Dies at 72," New York Times, 11/15/2005.  Retrieved 7/19/2019,
Photo:  Library of Congress, 10/12/2002.  Public Domain.  Photograph taken by an officer or employee of the United States Government as part of that person’s official duties under the terms of Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 105 of the US Code

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