Pauline Rubbelke Maier, 75, a historian, professor and author, died of cancer Monday. Maier was born in St. Paul, the oldest of five children born to a firefighter and a housewife, and graduated from St. Agnes High School in 1956. She earned degrees from Radcliffe and Harvard and was a Fulbright Scholar. In 1978, she was named William R. Kenan Jr. Professor of American History at MIT. She was an expert on the Revolutionary War and the author of five books. Her latest book, “Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788,” won the 2011 George Washington Book Prize. She is survived by her husband, Charles, of Cambridge; children Andrea Maier of Belgium, Nick Maier of Belmont, Mass., and Jessica Maier of Hanover, N.H.; her father, Irvin Rubbelke of St. Paul; and siblings Irene O’Ryan of St. Paul, Tom Maier of St. Paul, Gary Maier of Willmar, and Deb O’Halloran of St. Paul.