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Roske, Ralph J. (Ralph Joseph), 1921-1994


Ralph J. Roske was a professor of history at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) for over twenty years. He was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1921 and earned his undergraduate degree at DePaul University. After serving in World War II, Roske went on to earn his doctorate in history from the University of Illinois. He taught at St. Mary's College and Humboldt State College (now Humboldt State University) in California before coming to UNLV in 1967. While at UNLV, he served as director, and later dean of the College of Social Science. Roske supervised many master’s theses, seminar papers, and building surveys on western and Nevada history. In addition, he created an oral history program with his Nevada history students, who interviewed many Las Vegas, Nevada pioneers.

Roske was also the author of several articles and books, including Everyman’s Eden: A History of California (1968), His Own Counsel: The Life and Times of Lyman Trumbull (1979), and Las Vegas: A Desert Paradise (1986). In 1988, UNLV’s Alumni Association gave him the Outstanding Faculty Award, and later that year in December, Roske retired to emeritus status.

Roske passed away at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada on December 15, 1994 at the age of 73.


Green, Michael S. "History News: UNLV Professor Ralph J. Roske Retires." Nevada Historical Society Quarterly 33, no 1 (Spring 1990): 41-44. Accessed January 22, 2019.

“In Memoriam, December 1995.” Perspectives on History. Accessed January 22, 2019.