Herbert Aptheker (July 31, 1915-March 17, 2003) was a Marxist historian and political activist. He wrote more than 50 books, mostly dealing with African American history and U.S. history. His most notable books are American Negro Slave Revolts, a classic in its field, and the seven-volume Documentary History of the Negro People. Additionally, he compiled a wide variety of primary documents supporting the study of African American history, and he was the literary executor of W.E.B. Du Bois’ papers.
Though blacklisted most of his career, Aptheker remained a prominent figure on college and university campuses and among scholars. J. Edgar Hoover, director of the FBI, noted that he was “the most dangerous Communist in the U.S.” because of his influence among students. Aptheker also wrote for numerous scholarly and political journals, including Political Affairs and Masses & Mainstream. He also helped found the American Institute of Marxism.