Methodist University Presidential Lecture Series to Feature Doris Kearns Goodwin

Pulitzer Prize winning American biographer, historian, and political commentator Doris Kearns Goodwin will be the speaker at the Methodist University Presidential Lecture Series on Thursday, April 16 at 8 p.m. in Huff Concert Hall at Methodist University. The title of her presentation will be “Leadership Lessons from the White House.” The event is free and open to the public. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Presidential Lecture Series is made possible through the generosity of community partners and individuals who have underwritten this program.

“The purpose of the Methodist University Presidential Speaker Series is to bring nationally recognized individuals to the campus and the greater Fayetteville community,” said Methodist University President Ben Hancock. “Each year the University will identify journalists, artists, historians, business and organizational leaders, and other experts to share their perspectives on national and global issues.”

Hancock said Doris Kearns Goodwin is the perfect person to be featured in this year’s Presidential Speaker Series.

“As the University celebrates undergraduate research the week of her visit, the campus community will be the beneficiary of her scholarly research. Her work on leadership and, particularly presidential leadership, is timely given the upcoming presidential election as well as Methodist University’s emphasis on leadership as evidenced by the Lura Tally Center for Leadership. With an increased emphasis on writing across the curriculum, the community will also be introduced to the exceptional writing by this Pulitzer-winning author” said Hancock.

Doris Kearns Goodwin, a world-renowned historian, has been reporting on politics and baseball for over two decades. She is the author of several books and has written for leading national publications. She appears regularly on network television programs and was an on-air consultant for PBS documentaries on Lyndon B. Johnson, the Kennedy Family, Franklin Roosevelt and Ken Burns’ The History of Baseball. She was the first female journalist to enter the Red Sox locker room.

Goodwin was born and raised on Long Island, New York. She received her B.A. from Colby College, where she graduated magna cum laude. She received her Ph.D. in Government from Harvard University, where she taught Government, including a course on the American presidency. Following her tenure at Harvard, Goodwin served as an assistant to Lyndon Johnson in his last year in the White House. She later assisted Johnson in the preparation of his memoirs.

In 1976, Goodwin authored Lyndon Johnson & the American Dream, which became a New York Times best-seller. She followed up in 1987 with the political biography, The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys, which stayed on the New York Times Best Seller List for fivemonths. In 1990, it was made into a six-hour ABC miniseries. Her next book, No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The American Home Front during World War II,was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in April 1995, as well as the Harold Washington Literary Award, the New England Bookseller Association Award, the Ambassador Book Award and the Washington Monthly Book Award. It was a New York Times best seller for six months.

Goodwin’s book, Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir, published in 1997, is about growing up in the 1950’s in love with the Brooklyn Dodgers. It has been a New York Times best-seller, as well as a Book of the Month Club selection. A Washington Post reviewer wrote, “This is a book in the grand tradition of girlhood memoirs, dating from Louisa May Alcott to Carson McCullers and Harper Lee.”

Goodwin’s monumental history of Abraham Lincoln entitled Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, published in October 2005, joined the best-seller lists on its first week in publication, and soon reached #1 on the New York Times Best-Seller List. Team of Rivals won the 2006 Lincoln Prize for an outstanding work about the President and/or the Civil War, the New York Historical Society Book Prize, the Richard Nelson Current award and the New York State Archives History Makers Award. President Obama, when asked what book he would bring to the White House other than the Bible, he said Team of Rivals.

Steven Spielberg directed the film adaptation of Goodwin’s book on Abraham Lincoln. The film Lincoln grossed $275 million at the box office and earned 12 Academy Award nominations in 2013, winning two.

For information on the Methodist University Presidential Lecture Series, call 910.630.7243.