Dr. A. Curtis Wilgus served as professor of Latin American history at the University of Florida, where he organized and directed the School of Inter-American Studies. Prior to moving to Florida, he taught at the University of South Carolina and George Washington University. Wilgus authored many books and articles on Latin America and was appointed by President John F. Kennedy to the board of foreign scholarships as coordinator in the Office of Inter-American Affairs.
In 1967, Wilgus left the University of Florida and moved to Miami where he continued to write and consult on Latin America. Throughout his career, Wilgus concentrated on bibliographic work, which he viewed as key to fostering progress in Latin American Studies.
He died in 1981. His wife, Karna S. Wilgus, established this endowed scholarship as a memoria