Quirino was a prominent historian and writer. He was the first National Artist
for Historical Literature when it was added as a new award category in 1997.
Quirino was a
pioneer of historical literature written in English.
He was also renowned for his many biographies of important Filipinos. In
particular, for having written one of the earliest biographies of Jose Rizalin English, entitled, 'The Great Malayan'.
His books and articles
covered and captured many aspects of Philippine history and culture. His
books on cartography are still considered as the best books on the subject.
His other books include Quezon, Man of Destiny, Magsaysay of the
Philippines, Lives of the Philippine Presidents, The History of Philippine
Sugar Industry, Filipinos at War: The Fight for Freedom from Mactan to EDSA
also the first Filipino correspondent for the United Press Institue.