Lawrence A. Cremin, 64, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian who spent 23 years writing a definitive trilogy on American public education, died Sept. 4 in New York City after a heart attack.

He won the Pulitzer Prize for history in 1981 for "American Education: The National Experience, 1783-1876," the second volume of a three-volume history of U.S. schools from colonial times through 1980. The final volume, "American Education: The Metropolitan Experience, 1876-1980," was published in 1988. His 1962 book "The Transformation of the School" won the prestigious Bancroft Prize for American history.

His most recent work, published last spring, was "Popular Education and Its Discontents," which offered philosophical answers to the question of how U.S. schools developed as they did. He argued that the current school crisis stems not so much from the mediocrity of schools or educators, but from outside forces that are overburdening schools with more and more demands.

At the time of his death, he was working on a biography of educational pioneer John Dewey.

Dr. Cremin was a native and resident of New York City and served in the Army Air Forces during World War II. He was a 1946 graduate of City College of New York and received master's and doctoral degrees from Columbia University.

Dr. Cremin was president of Columbia University's Teachers College from 1974 to 1984 and was the Frederick A.P. Barnard Professor of Education at the college.

Since 1985, he was president of the Chicago-based Spencer Foundation, whose major priority is educational research. He was a member of the foundation's board of directors since 1973. He was a trustee of the Children's Television Workshop.

Dr. Cremin was a founding member of the National Academy of Education and served as its president from 1969 to 1973. He also was a past president of the History Education Society and the National Society of College Teachers of Education.

Survivors include his wife, Charlotte, of New York City; and two children.


Library of Congress Employee

John Quincy Pierce III, 78, a retired Library of Congress employee who was a member of the Catholic Cathedral of St. Thomas More in Arlington, died of respiratory failure Aug. 20 at his home in Arlington. He had multiple sclerosis for the last 30 years.

Mr. Pierce, who came here in 1948, was a native of New York. He was a graduate of Syracuse University and what is now the Catholic University law school. He served with the Army in the Mediterranean theater during World War II. He worked for the Library of Congress from the late 1940s until retiring in 1972 as a copyright searcher.

Survivors include his wife, Maude, and a son, John Q. IV, both of Arlington; a daughter, Karen A. Blank of Silver Spring; and two sisters, Helen P. Wager of New York City and Margaret Eichenlaub of Liverpool, N.Y.