Michael Kammen is a professor of American cultural history in the Department of History at Cornell University. He was born in 1936 in Rochester, New York, grew up in the Washington, DC area, and was educated at the George Washington University and Harvard University (Ph.D., 1964). He has taught at Cornell since completing his graduate studies at Harvard. He began his career in the 1960s, and won his first renown, as a scholar of the colonial period of American history. But over the last 30 years his scholarship and his teaching interests have broadened to include legal, cultural and social issues of American history of the 19th and 20th centuries as well.
Kammen has been active in organizations advancing the study of history, and served as president of the Organization of American Historians for the 1995-96 year.