Paul Oskar Kristeller was a widely acclaimed scholar on the topic of Renaissance humanism. He received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Heidelburg in 1928 and went on to study with Martin Heidegger at the University of Freiburg. In 1939, Kristeller moved to the United States and joined the faculty of Columbia University. He later became the president of both the Renaissance Society of America and the Medieval Academy of America.
Professor Kristeller was the 1989 recipient of the American Historical Association's Award for Scholarly Distinction for his work on Italian Renaissance manuscripts, and he was awarded a Haskins Prize in 1992. He passed away in 1999.