Michael Bliss, an award-winning historian, author, and retired University of Toronto professor, has died.

Bliss was known as one of the country's leading intellectuals and wrote 14 books on an array of subjects, from business to politics, including the Governor General's Award–nominated Plague: A Story of Smallpox in Montreal.

His published work also includes biographies of legendary figures in the medical community, such as Harvey Cushing, William Osler, and Frederick Banting.

Bliss retired from U of T's department of history in 2006 after a nearly four-decade career during which he earned the elite rank of University Professor, an honour "conferred upon less than two percent of tenured faculty," according to the school.

'Best Canadian economic historian of his generation'

Soon after the university announced his death on Thursday, tributes began pouring in online.

A notable Canadian commentator, Bliss was an Officer of the Order of Canada, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a member of the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame.

Bliss lived in Toronto. He was 76.