William Hosking Oliver was a New Zealand historian and poet, born in Feilding on May 14, 1925 the son of Cornish immigrants, and died in Wellington on September 16, 2015.
William studied at Victoria University of Wellington (MA) and completed a PhD at Oxford University in 1953.
He returned to New Zealand and lectured at University of Canterbury and Victoria, before becoming inaugural professor of history at Massey University in 1965, where he later served as Dean of Humanities.
William was made emeritus professor on leaving Massey in 1984 to become general editor of the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography.
He wrote extensively on New Zealand history and published several volumes of poetry.
In 1990 William was awarded a CBE and the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration Medal and received a D. Litt (Hon) Victoria University of Wellington in recognition of his services to history.
In 2008 he was honoured in the Prime Minister’s Awards for Literary Achievement, Non-Fiction.
William Hosking Oliver died at age 90 on September 16, 2015.