JFKWHP-KN-17352 (crop): Director of Food for Peace, George McGovern, with Visitors (Pictured (R): Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.), 17 March 1961

Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. first joined President Kennedy’s campaign as a speechwriter in 1960. The following year he was appointed Special Assistant to the President and held this post until 1964. An avid supporter of liberal democratic causes, Mr. Schlesinger was also the author of several important books, including The Age of Jackson, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1945. Perhaps his most well known work, however, is his memoir of the Kennedy White House, A Thousand Days, which won him his second Pulitzer. In 1966, Mr. Schlesinger became Albert Schweitzer Professor of Humanities at the City University of New York. He returned to speechwriting, however, during Robert Kennedy’s 1968 campaign and George S. McGovern’s 1972 campaign. Throughout his political career, Mr. Schlesinger remained an active scholar, publishing several more historical works and establishing himself as the leading intellectual of postwar liberalism.



1917 October 15, Born, Columbus, Ohio

1938 A.B., Harvard University

1938-1939 Postgraduate Henry Fellow, Cambridge University, England

1939-1942 Member, Harvard Society of Fellows

1942-1943 Office of War Information

1943-1945 Office of Strategic Services

1945 United States Army

1946-1954 Associate Professor, Harvard University

1952 Member, Adlai Stevenson campaign

1953-1954 National chairman, Americans for Democratic Action

1954-1961 Professor, Harvard University

1956 Member, Adlai Stevenson presidential campaign

1960 Speechwriter, John F. Kennedy presidential campaign

1961-1963 Special Assistant to President Kennedy

1963-1964 Special Assistant to President Johnson

1966 Visiting Fellow, Institute of Advanced Study, Princeton University

1966-1994 Albert Schweitzer Professor of Humanities, City University of New York

1968 Speechwriter, Robert Kennedy presidential campaign

1972 Speechwriter, George S. McGovern presidential campaign

1981-1984 President, American Institute of Arts and Letters

1983-2007 Co-chairman, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute

1984-1987 Chancellor, American Institute of Arts and Letters

1989-1992 Society of American Historians

2007 February 28, Died


Orestes A. Brownson: A Pilgrim’s Progress, 1939.
The Age of Jackson, 1945.
The Vital Center, 1949.
The General and the President (with Richard Rovere), 1951.
The Crisis of the Old Order, 1957.
The Coming of the New Deal, 1958.
The Politics of Upheaval, 1960.
Kennedy or Nixon, 1960.
The Politics of Hope,1963.
A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House, 1965.
The Bitter Heritage: Vietnam and American Democracy,1967.
The Crisis of Confidence: Ideas, Powers and Violence in America, 1969.
The Imperial Presidency, 1973.
Robert F. Kennedy and His Times,1978.
The Cycles of American History, 1986.
The Disuniting of America, 1991.
A Life in the Twentieth Century: Innocent Beginnings, 2000.
War and the American Presidency, 2004.

Mr. Schlesinger has also been a film reviewer for:

Show magazine, 1962-1964
Vogue, 1967-1972
Saturday Review, 1977-1980
American Heritage, 1981-1982


"Arthur Meier Schlesinger, Jr." Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd ed. 17 Vols. Gale Research, 1998.
Reproduced in Biography Resource Center. Farmington Hills, MI: The Gale Group, 2004.

See also

Kennedy Library Forum: A Tribute to Arthur Schlesinger (pdf)