Hudson had retired in December, after taking leave in August for medical reasons.

“Blaine’s many years and contributions as a faculty member, department chair and dean has had and will have a lasting impact on generations of UofL students,” said President James Ramsey. “Blaine was a visionary and leader in the academy and the community. He will be missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.”

Hudson taught history and Pan-African studies classes for years while serving in various administrative posts. He was Pan-African studies department chair from 1998 to 2003 and was an associate A&S dean from 1999 to 2004. He had been in the dean role since 2004, first serving as acting dean before his appointment as a result of a formal search process.

“The college is the heart of the university — with a great faculty, staff and student body,” Hudson said upon his appointment in 2005. “We share knowledge through teaching, create knowledge through research and apply knowledge through service. There is no higher calling and no more important contribution to the future than that.”

Hudson had been chair of the Kentucky African American Heritage Commission and served his native state on many historical, education and civil rights panels. He received dozens of honors for teaching, research and public service, including the 2002 Martin Luther King Jr. Dream Award from the Louisville mayor’s office and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Louisville Metro Human Relations Commission in 2011.

His research into Kentucky’s African American history made him a popular speaker, and his publications include the 2011 book “Two Centuries of Black Louisville: A Photographic History,” with Merv Aubespin and Kenneth Clay; “Encyclopedia of the Underground Railroad” in 2006; and the 2002 book, “Fugitive Slaves and the Underground Railroad in the Kentucky Borderland.”

Hudson earned his doctorate in higher education administration at the University of Kentucky and his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from UofL.

Hudson’s family requested in an obituary that people who want to honor his lifelong passion for history do so with a contribution to the UofL’s Pan African Studies Department. No public visitation or funeral is planned.