Correction: A previous version of this obituary incorrectly stated that Mr. Doherty, a West Virginia University emeritus professor of history, chaired the history department at the University of Missouri. He chaired the history department at the University of Mississippi.

William T. Doherty Jr., an emeritus history professor at West Virginia University who specialized in the Reconstruction era after the Civil War, died Sept. 25 at Leisure World retirement community in Silver Spring. He was 90.

The cause was chronic lymphocytic leukemia and cardiac disease, said his daughter, D. Ashley Doherty.

Dr. Doherty taught at the University of Missouri and University of Arkansas and chaired the history department at the University of Mississippi before joining the West Virginia University faculty in the early 1960s. He was a past history department chairman at WVU and served as university historian from 1979 until his retirement in 1988, when he moved to Leisure World.

Dr. Doherty wrote several books on West Virginia history, including “West Virginia University: Symbol of Unity in a Sectionalized State,” which he co-authored in 1982 with scholar Festus P. Summers.

William Thomas Doherty Jr. was a native of Cape Girardeau, Mo., and a 1943 graduate of Southeast Missouri State University. He received a master’s degree in U.S. history from American University in 1950 and a doctorate in U.S. history from the University of Missouri in 1951.

He was an Army veteran of World War II and a recipient of the Bronze Star Medal.

His wife of 55 years, Dorothy Huff Doherty, died in 2002. Survivors include five children, Victor S. Doherty of Mathis, Tex., D. Ashley Doherty of Washington, Catherine D. DeKrey of Burnsville, Minn., Julia H. Doherty of Reston and William T. Doherty III of Annapolis; and two grandchildren.

— Samantha Raphelson