Geoffrey M. Footner, "a former Baltimore shipping executive who later became a noted maritime author, historian and lecturer," died April 5, the Baltimore Sun reported. He was 94. "Geoffrey was a rough and tumble, argumentative, seafaring salt--and the best friend you could ever have," said Scott S. Sheads, a fellow author and historian. "He's homeward bound now, and has left us onshore with a lot of wonderful memories.... Geoffrey always had a great interest in Baltimore history and became a colorful figure in the city's maritime history. Over the years we had many lunches together and he was still talking about the War of 1812 as if it was still in progress. He was delightful to listen to."
Another friend and author, Ralph E. Eshelman, called Footner "a character, and everyone whoever met Geoffrey felt that way. He was a guy who did what he wanted to, and didn't care what other people thought.... I couldn't get enough of him. He was unique."
Footner's books include The Last Generation: A History of a Chesapeake Shipbuilding Family--M.M. Davis and Son (1991); Tidewater Triumph: The Development and Worldwide Success of the Chesapeake Bay Pilot Schooner (1998); USS Constellation: From Frigate to Sloop of War (2003); and A Bungled Affair: Britain's War on the United States, the final Years, 1814-1815 (2013).