“The only good life is a life of purpose, and beneficial purpose to be sure.”
In honor of our country’s July 4th holiday we had America’s historian back on the show, two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough (read his new book The American Spirit). David is my long-time friend and mentor has modeled for me the very definition of true, holistic success.
David McCullough has been acclaimed as a “master of the art of narrative history.” He is twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize, twice winner of the National Book Award, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award.
His most recent book, the widely praised The Wright Brothers, was a #1 New York Times bestseller and remained on the list for nine months. The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris, also a #1 bestseller, has been called “dazzling,” …“history to be savored.” His 1776 has been acclaimed “a classic,” while John Adams, published in 2001, remains one of the most praised and widely read American biographies of all time.
In the words of the citation accompanying his honorary degree from Yale, “As an historian, he paints with words, giving us pictures of the American people that live, breathe, and above all, confront the fundamental issues of courage, achievement, and moral character.”
Mr. McCullough’s other books include The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, The Path Between the Seas, Mornings on Horseback, Brave Companions, and Truman. His books have been published in nineteen languages and as may be said of few writers, none of his books has ever been out of print.
David McCullough is as well twice winner of the Francis Parkman Prize, and for his work overall he has been honored by the National Book Foundation Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award, the National Humanities Medal and the Gold Medal for Biography given by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, as well as the American Academy of Arts and Letters and has received fifty-four honorary degrees.
In 2013, in his honor, the city of Pittsburgh, his hometown, renamed its landmark 16th Street Bridge over the Allegheny River the David McCullough Bridge. More recently, in September 2014, he was named an Officer of the Legion of Honor by decree of the President of the Republic of France.
In a crowded, productive career, he has been an editor, teacher, lecturer, and familiar presence on public television—as host of Smithsonian World, The American Experience, and narrator of numerous documentaries including Ken Burns’s The Civil War. His is also the narrator’s voice in the movie Seabiscuit. John Adams, the seven-part mini-series on HBO produced by Tom Hanks, was one of the most acclaimed television events of recent years.
A gifted speaker, Mr. McCullough has lectured in all parts of the country and abroad, as well as at the White House. He is also one of the few private citizens to speak before a joint session of Congress.
Born in Pittsburgh in 1933, he was educated there and at Yale. He is an avid reader, traveler, and has enjoyed a lifelong interest in art and architecture. He is as well a devoted painter. He and his wife Rosalee Barnes McCullough have five children and nineteen grandchildren.