Douglas Brinkley

Rice University (TX)

Douglas Brinkley is a professor of history at Rice University, bestselling author, Grammyaward winning producer and presidential historian for CNN. Eight of his books have been selected as New York Times Notable Books of the Year, and each of his most-recent publications have been New York Times bestsellers. Brinkley received the Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Naval History Prize for Driven Patriot in 1993 and the Benjamin Franklin Award for The American Heritage History of the United States in 1998. His book 2006 The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast won the Robert F. Kennedy book award. He is also the author of the award-winning biographies Rosa Parks: A Life, Cronkite, and Wheels of the World: Henry Ford, His Country, and a Century of Progress.

Published in 2016, Rightful Heritage: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Land of America is the third volume of Brinkley’s bestselling U.S. environmental history series. Brinkley’s most recent book, JFK: A Vision for America—which he edited together with the president’s nephew, Stephen Kennedy Smith—features JFK’s greatest speeches, iconic photography, and reflections by leading statesmen, writers, historians, and public figures. The book is the basis for New-York Historical’s upcoming exhibition honoring the 100th anniversary of President Kennedy’s birth: American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Time, opening June 23. Brinkley, who has edited Jack Kerouac’s diaries, Hunter S. Thompson’s letters, and Theodore Dreiser’s travelogue—and has co-edited a previously unpublished novel by Woody Guthrie together with Johnny Depp—serves as a contributing editor for Vanity Fair, Audubon, and American Heritage, and is a frequent contributor to The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic Monthly.

He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Century Association, and the Society of American Historians, and has held board or leadership advisory roles at the American Museum of Natural History, the Yellowstone Park Foundation, the National Audubon Society, and the Rockefeller-Roosevelt Conservation Roundtable—reflecting his commitment to conservation and environmental preservation. Brinkley has been described as “America’s new past master” and has received numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities throughout the nation for his work as an Americanist. He earned his BA from Ohio State University and a PhD in U.S. diplomatic history from Georgetown University