NEW YORK (AP) — Edmund S. Morgan, a leading scholar of the colonial era, has died in Connecticut at age 97.

Morgan's wife, Marie, says he died Monday at Yale-New Haven Hospital, where he was being treated for pneumonia.

Morgan helped reinvigorate the reputations of the founding fathers and probed the country's racial and religious origins. In his 80s, he wrote a best-selling biography of Benjamin Franklin.

A professor emeritus at Yale University, Morgan was a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books. He wrote more than a dozen books, including "Birth of the Republic," ''The Puritan Dilemma" and "Inventing the People," winner in 1989 of the Bancroft Prize. His other awards included a National Medal of the Humanities in 2000 and an honorary citation from Pulitzer Prize officials in 2006.