Walter Edwin Havighurst was a novelist, and social and literary historian of the Midwest. He was awarded honorary degrees from Lawrence College, Ohio Wesleyan University, Marietta College, and Miami University.
Havighurst taught English at Miami University, in Oxford, Ohio, from 1928 to 1969 and served interim terms on the faculties of Connecticut College, the University of Colorado and the University of British Columbia. Miami named him Regents Professor of English Emeritus.
Havighurst was the author of over 30 books, including Pier 17, which was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, and Annie Oakley of the Wild West. His writing earned awards from the Friends of American Writers, the American Association for State and Local History and the Rockefeller Foundation. River Road to the West received the American History Prize of the Society of Midland Authors.
In 1970, the Walter Havighurst Special Collections at Miami University was established and named in his honor.