Michael Beschloss

2008 Empire State Archives and History Award Laureate

Michael Beschloss has written nine books on American Presidents. The New York Times Book Review has called him "clearly the most widely recognized Presidential historian in the nation." Newsweek has called him "the nation's leading Presidential historian." The International Herald Tribune has called him "a national treasure."

Beschloss' most recent two books, Presidential Courage (2007) and The Conquerors (2002), were each on the New York Times bestseller list for months. Presidential Courage was #1 on the Washington post bestseller list. The Conquerors was Amazon.com's top bestselling history book of the year. Of Presidential Courage, the New York Times Book Review said, "Most Presidential historians...content themselves with writing biographies of individual Presidents.... And Beschloss has done that too…. But if any book can be said to epitomize the genre of Presidential history, Presidential Courage does...." Of The Conquerors, the New York Times Book Review said, "There is not a dull page." Beschloss' previous books include two volumes on Lyndon Johnson's secret tapes, which a New York Times editorial called "an important event," and The Crisis Years, which the New Yorker called the "definitive" history of John Kennedy and the Cold War. 

Beschloss serves as the NBC News Presidential Historian, the first time a major television network created such a position. He appears on all NBC News programs, hosting a regular segment on NBC's Today show called "American Minute with Michael Beschloss." He is also a commentator on PBS's "The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer" and writes a regular column for Newsweek called "Traveling through History with Michael Beschloss."

Born in Chicago, Beschloss is an alumnus of Phillips Andover Academy, Williams College, and Harvard University, holds three honorary doctorates and frequently lectures both here and abroad. In 2005, he won an Emmy for his role in creating the Discovery Channel's "Decisions That Shook the World," of which he was host. He is a trustee of the White House Historical Association and the National Archives Foundation and a former trustee of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (Monticello). He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and two sons. 




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