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Thursday, February 14, 2002

Presidential Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin to Speak Friday Morning

Acclaimed historian, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and former Harvard professor Doris Kearns Goodwin will speak on Friday, February 15 at 8:45 a.m. in Ballroom C of the Dallas Convention Center. Her talk will focus on President Abraham Lincoln, who is the subject of her latest book, now nearing completion.

Born in New York, Goodwin earned her bachelor's degree, magna cum laude, from Colby College in 1964. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship in 1966, and received her doctorate of philosophy in government from Harvard University in 1968. During graduate school, she was chosen to serve as a White House Fellow and assigned to Labor Secretary Willard Wirtz, under whom she worked on problems related to ghetto unemployment. Subsequently, President Lyndon B. Johnson had her transferred to the White House, where she served as the president's staff assistant until he left office.

From her White House experience came Goodwin's first book, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream. The book, which explores the life of President Johnson, both in and out of the White House, topped the New York Times best-seller list for several months and launched her career as a presidential historian. Her second historical book, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys was published in 1987 after years of research on the private papers of Joe and Rose Kennedy. The book was later transformed into a six-hour miniseries broadcast on ABC-TV.

It was her frank look at the presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, however, that won Goodwin the 1995 Pulitzer Prize in History. No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II, provided a fascinating inside look at the state of the nation and its leaders during a time of world turmoil.

The American Presidency is not her only interest, however. She also is an avid baseball fan and has applied her considerable journalism skills to the history of America's pastime. She has written numerous articles on baseball for leading national publications and shattered journalistic taboo by becoming the first female reporter ever to enter the Boston Red Sox locker room. She served as a consultant for the PBS television documentary, The History of Baseball and wrote Wait Till Next Year, a coming-of-age book that documents her life as a Brooklyn Dodgers fan in the 1950s.

In addition to her literary career, Goodwin also appears as a political analyst on network television. She serves as a regular contributor to "The Newshour With Jim Lehrer" and appears frequently on ABC 's "Nightline." TV news anchor Peter Jennings describes her as "the most fascinating interview I've ever done."

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Last modified 15/February/2002 by IS