DAVID MCCULLOUGH Biography - Writers


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David McCullough                                                                           
Born July 7, 1933 (age 74)                                                                 
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania                                                                   
Occupation Historian, Author                                                               
Spouse Rosalee Ingram McCullough                                                           
David Gaub McCullough (born July 7, 1933) is an American historian                         
and bestselling author. A two-time winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the               
National Book Award, he is widely referred to as a "master of the art of                   
narrative history." Among his most well-known books are The Path Between the               
Seas, Truman, John Adams, and his most recent volume, 1776 (a New York Times and           
Amazon bestseller). He is also a familiar presence on public television — as the         
host of Smithsonian World and The American Experience, and as the narrator of               
many well-regarded, highly accessible, and facile documentaries.                           
McCullough was educated at Shady Side Academy in his hometown of Pittsburgh,               
Pennsylvania, and then attended Yale University, where he received his bachelor's           
degree with honors in English literature in 1955. While at Yale, he became a               
member of Skull and Bones; as an undergraduate with a first interest in art, he             
often ate lunch with playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder, who inspired                 
McCullough to become a writer.                                                             
After graduating from college, McCullough went to work as an editorial assistant           
at the newly-established Sports Illustrated magazine, in New York. During the               
Kennedy administration, he moved to Washington, D.C. to work for the United                 
States Information Agency; he also began working as an editor and writer for the           
American Heritage Publishing Company. While working at American Heritage,                   
McCullough began the research, in his spare time, for what became his first book,           
The Johnstown Flood, about the catastrophic Johnstown Flood of 1889, which took             
place not far from where he grew up in Pennsylvania.                                       
Speaking of this period in his life, McCullough has said, "...what I did... was             
to serve a kind of apprenticeship in... different magazine jobs, primarily                 
editing, writing. And after I'd done that for about 10 or 12 years, I felt that             
I had reached the point where I could attempt something on my own."                         
In addition to the two PBS programs he has hosted, McCullough has also been the             
narrator of numerous documentaries, including Ken Burns' Brooklyn Bridge, The               
Statue of Liberty, The Congress, and The Civil War as well as David Grubin's FDR,           
Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided, and Napoleon. He also narrated                   
portions of the motion picture Seabiscuit.                                                 
McCullough served as president of the Society of American Historians from 1991             
to 1998. He has been elected to both the American Academy of Arts and Letters               
and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. As of April 2007, he has received           
40 honorary degrees.                                                                       
In October 2002, McCullough delivered the 13th annual T.H. White Lecture,                   
sponsored by the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public                 
Policy. "While a great deal about our country has changed since September 11,               
everything hasn't, including our history — an inexhaustible source of strength,"         
he said. "These are dangerous, uncertain times, but not the worst we've ever               
been through, by any means." McCullough taught at Hamilton College in Clinton,             
NY from 2003 to 2006.                                                                       
In December 2006, McCullough was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.                 
In June 2007, as the featured speaker at the fiftieth anniversary opening of the           
Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, McCullough spoke of the need to           
reform education and emphasize history more strongly in American schools. On               
September 11, 2007, McCullough received his first honorary high school diploma             
from Wellesley High School, where he also gave a speech, and where his son now             
teaches English. In 2008, he was named the Janet Weis Fellow in Contemporary               
Letters at Bucknell University.                                                             
McCullough lives in West Tisbury, Massachusetts (Martha's Vineyard) with his               
wife Rosalee Ingram (Barnes) McCullough, whom he met at Yale. They have five               
children and 18 grandchildren.