Schlesinger, Arthur M. (Arthur Meier), 1917-2007

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1917-10-15
Death 2007-02-28
Americans
Spanish; Castilian, German, French, English

Biographical notes:

Historian.

From the description of Reminiscences of Arthur Meier Schlesinger, Jr. : oral history, 1969. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122631775

From the description of Reminiscences of Arthur Meier Schlesinger, Jr. : oral history, 1967. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 122419126

From the description of Reminiscences of Arthur Meier Schlesinger, Jr. : oral history, 1972. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 86131341

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., was born in Columbus, Ohio on October 15, 1917. He received his A.B. summa cum laude from Harvard University in 1938, was a postgraduate Henry Fellow at Cambridge University in England from 1938 to 1939, and a member of the Harvard Society of Fellows from 1939 to 1942. He was with the Office of War Information from 1942 through 1943 and the Office of Strategic Services from 1943 to 1945. In 1945, he served in the United States Army. Following the war, he was an associate professor at Harvard from 1946 to 1954 and professor from 1954 to 1961. During 1948, Schlesinger served as a consultant to the Economic Cooperation Administration and in 1951 and 1952 to the Mutual Security Administration. He was a member of Adlai Stevenson''s campaign staff in 1952 and 1956. In 1960, he worked as a speechwriter in John F. Kennedy''s presidential campaign. He was appointed Special Assistant to the President by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 and held the position until 1964. He served as a visiting fellow at the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton University in 1966. He was appointed Albert Schweitzer Professor of Humanities at the City University of New York in 1966 and held this position until his retirement in 1994. He has served as a trustee of the Twentieth Century Fund and the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, and as a member of the board of directors of the Harry S. Truman Library Institute, the John F. Kennedy Library, and the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute (co-chairman, 1983-present). Schlesinger is a member of many professional historical, cultural, scholarly, and literary associations including the American Historical Association, Organization of American Historians, American Philosophical Society, Massachusetts Historical Society, Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Russian Academy, ACLU, Council on Foreign Relations, Century Association, and Phi Beta Kappa. In addition, he has served as president from 1981 to 1984, and chancellor from 1984 to 1987, of the American Institute of Arts and Letters; Society of American Historians from 1989 to 1992; and as national chairman of the Americans for Democratic Action from 1953 to 1954. He is the recipient of the following scholarly awards: the Pulitzer prize for History, 1946; the Francis Parkman prize, 1957; the Bancroft prize, 1958; the Pulitzer prize for Biography, 1966; the National Book Award, 1966 and 1979; the American Institute of Arts and Letters Gold medal for History, 1967; and the Fregeme prize for literature (Italy), 1983.

From the description of Schlesinger, Arthur M. (Arthur Meier), 1917- (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10679514

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., (1917-2007) was an American historian as well known for his political activities as a liberal Democrat as for his critically acclaimed scholarly work. He won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award twice, while playing a significant role in shaping the intellectual basis of postwar Democratic liberalism. Gilbert Seldes (1893-1970) was an American cultural critic, editor, and writer who was the first director of television programs for the Columbia Broadcasting System, and the first dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

From the guide to the Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. and Gilbert Seldes correspondence, 1956-1970, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)

Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. was special assistant to President Kennedy at this time. He was a great friend and admirer of Bernard De Voto.

From the description of 2 typed letters signed to Avis De Voto, together with a press release of a speech given by President Kennedy that quotes Bernard De Voto, 1961. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 754863379

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., (1917-2007) was an American historian as well known for his political activities as a liberal Democrat as for his critically acclaimed scholarly work.

He won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award twice, while playing a significant role in shaping the intellectual basis of postwar Democratic liberalism. Gilbert Seldes (1893-1970) was an American cultural critic, editor, and writer who was the first director of television programs for the Columbia Broadcasting System, and the first dean of the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania.

From the description of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. and Gilbert Seldes correspondence, 1956-1970. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 320956745

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. (1917-2007) was an American historian as well known for his political activities as a liberal Democrat as for his critically acclaimed scholarly work.

He won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award twice each, while playing a significant role in shaping the intellectual basis of postwar Democratic liberalism.

From the description of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. journals, 1952-1983. (New York Public Library). WorldCat record id: 229164854

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. (1917-2007) was an American historian as renowned for his political activities as a liberal Democrat as for his critically acclaimed scholarly work. He won the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award twice each, while playing a significant role in shaping the intellectual basis of postwar Democratic liberalism.

He was born Arthur Bancroft Schlesinger on October 15, 1917 to Arthur Meier Schlesinger and Elizabeth Bancroft Schlesinger, both well-known historians. Elizabeth was distantly related to historian George Bancroft. Born in Ohio, Schlesinger moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts when his father became a professor of history at Harvard University. Schlesinger changed his middle name to Meier when he was a teenager so as to share a name with his father. Graduating from Harvard University in 1938, Schlesinger eventually published his senior thesis on nineteenth-century theologian and activist Orestes Brownson. He studied at Cambridge University for a year, and then returned to Harvard as a research fellow, where he wrote The Age of Jackson (1945), which won him his first Pulitzer Prize. During World War II, he worked in the Office of War Information and the Office of Strategic Services, a forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency. In 1946, he returned to Harvard as an assistant professor of history. Despite not having a doctorate, Schlesinger had completed Harvard's own research fellowship program, and his academic career was never adversely affected by his choice not to pursue a doctoral degree. Schlesinger helped found the Americans for Democratic Action (ADA), a leading anti-Communist liberal group, in 1947.

Active in Democratic Party politics in Massachusetts, as well as at the national level, Schlesinger was heavily involved in Averell Harriman's campaign for the 1952 Democratic presidential nomination. When Harriman left the race, Schlesinger offered his services to Adlai Stevenson, forging a friendship and political alliance that would last for many years. Schlesinger wrote speeches, made appearances, and provided political advice to Stevenson in both his 1952 and 1956 presidential campaigns. Once sure that Stevenson was not planning to run for the office in 1960, Schlesinger aligned himself with Senator John F. Kennedy, a friend from Massachusetts. After helping to elect Kennedy in 1960, Schlesinger was appointed a special assistant to the President in 1961. He took an extended leave of absence from Harvard University to join the Kennedy Administration, where he worked as a problem solver, Latin American expert, and unofficial liaison to the academic community. Initially under the impression that Kennedy did not intend him to write the history of his presidency, Schlesinger later felt that he was expected to keep detailed notes on what he saw and heard. After President Kennedy's assassination, Schlesinger stayed on briefly during the transitional period of the Johnson Administration. He left the White House in early 1964, never to return to full-time work in the political realm. He did, however, serve as a speechwriter and advisor in the presidential campaigns of Robert F. Kennedy in 1968 and George S. McGovern in 1972. His final active role in a political campaign was with Senator Edward M. Kennedy in his quest for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1980, although he did provide advice to Bill Clinton and Al Gore during their presidential campaigns.

His account of the Kennedy White House, A Thousand Days (1965), won him his second Pulitzer Prize. Among his other important historical works are the three-volume history of the New Deal, The Age of Roosevelt (1957-1960); The Imperial Presidency (1973); Robert F. Kennedy and His Times (1978), for which he won the National Book Award; The Cycles of American History (1986); The Disuniting of America (1992) and his memoir A Life in the 20th Century: Innocent Beginnings, 1917-1950 (2000). He always hoped to continue the Age of Roosevelt series after his service in Washington, but never wrote the planned fourth volume.

Schlesinger became the Albert Schweitzer Professor of Humanities at the City University of New York in 1966. He settled in Manhattan, where he remained until his death, sharing a fence with neighbor Richard M. Nixon at one point. During his years in New York he led a remarkably active social and political life, associating and collaborating with a broad range of academic, political, and cultural figures, while continuing to articulate his distinctive and historically-informed opinions through books, articles, book and movie reviews, lectures and speeches, petitions, and newspaper editorials.

Schlesinger married twice and had six children. His first marriage, to Marian Cannon, ended in divorce in 1969, and his second marriage, to Alexandra Emmet, lasted until the end of his life. He had two sons and two daughters from his first marriage, and a son and stepson from his second.

From the guide to the Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. papers, 1922-2007, (The New York Public Library. Manuscripts and Archives Division.)

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Subjects:

  • Campaign speeches
  • Mass media and culture--United States
  • Political campaigns--United States
  • presidents
  • Political Campaigns
  • Presidents--Election--1952
  • Presidents--Election--1960
  • Historians--Interviews
  • Presidents--Election--1956
  • Mass media and culture
  • New Deal, 1933-1939

Occupations:

  • Authors
  • Historians--United States
  • Historians
  • College teachers--United States
  • Journalists--United States

Places:

  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)
  • United States (as recorded)