Smithsonian Journeys Experts
Eric Paul Roorda is a maritime historian, author and artist. A native of the Great Lakes region, he recently retired from thirty years of college teaching for Johns Hopkins University, Williams College, and Mystic Seaport Museum, among other places. His most recent books are The Ocean Reader: History, Politics, Culture (2020), Cats At Sea, A to Z (2019), and Twain At Sea: The Maritime Writings of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (2018). He received his education at The College of William and Mary and The Johns Hopkins University.
Eric comes from a seafaring family in Holland: his grandfather was a First Engineer in the Dutch Merchant Marine whose ships were sunk twice during World War I, and his great-grandfather worked on Zuiderzee ferries.