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Richard Norton Smith

historian

Richard Norton Smith is a nationally recognized authority on the American presidency and a familiar face to viewers of C-SPAN, as well as *The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer*, where he appears regularly as part of the show's round table of historians. Born in Leominster, Massachusetts in 1953, Smith graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1975 with a degree in government. Following graduation he worked as a White House intern and as a free lance writer for *The Washington Post*. In 1977, Mr. Smith became a speech writer for Massachusetts Senator Edward Brooke. Two years later he went to work for Senator Bob Dole. He collaborated with the Doles on their joint autobiography, *Unlimited Partners* (1988). More recently he assisted Senator Dole on his 1998 book of political humor, *Laughing (Almost) All the Way to the White House*, and a sequel, *Great Presidential Wit*, published early in 2001. Perhaps best known as a historian and biographer, Mr. Smith is currently at work on a life of Nelson A. Rockefeller based on extensive original research and interviews with Rockefeller associates. Smith's first major book, *Thomas E. Dewey and His Times*, was a finalist for the 1983 Pulitzer Prize. He has also written *An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover* (1984), *The Harvard Century: The Making of a University to a Nation* (1986) and *Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation* (1993). In June 1997, Houghton Mifflin published Mr. Smith's *The Colonel: The Life and Legend of Robert R. McCormick*, which received the prestigious Goldsmith Prize awarded by Harvard's John F. Kennedy School, and has been described by Hilton Kramer as "the best book ever written about the press."