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Jon Ellis Meacham (/ˈməm/; born May 20, 1969) is a presidential biographer. A former Executive Editor and Executive Vice President at Random House, he is a contributing writer to The New York Times Book Review, a contributing editor to Time magazine, and a former Editor-in-Chief of Newsweek. He is the author of several books. He won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. He is currently the Rogers Chair for the Study of the Presidency and a distinguished visiting professor in the Department of Political Science at Vanderbilt University.

Jon Meacham
Photo of Jon Meacham
Jon Meacham, 2014
BornJon Ellis Meacham
(1969-05-20) May 20, 1969 (age 49)
Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.
OccupationWriter, journalist, editor
ResidenceBelle Meade, Tennessee
Alma materThe University of the South
Notable awardsPulitzer Prize
Years active1995–present
SpouseMargaret Keith Smythe Meacham


Early lifeEdit

Meacham was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was educated at The McCallie School, and he earned a bachelor's degree from The University of the South in 1991.[1]


Jon Meacham is a well respected, Pulitzer Prize winning, and New York Times Bestselling Presidential historian and journalist. He has written numerous books on American history and its Presidents. Meacham has explored America's leaders in such work as Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power[2] as well as his biography of Andrew Jackson, titled American Lion which won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography.[3].

Meacham had read Robert V. Remini's three-volume biography of Jackson while in high school. Remini read Meacham's biography of Jackson in manuscript.[4]

Meacham was selected by the Bush family to be the official biographer for George H. W. Bush. Meacham's book about the former President titled, George H.W.Bush: Destiny and Power in 2015. Meacham was asked to give the eulogies to both President Bush and Barbara Bush when they passed away in 2018.[5]

From May 2010 to April 2011, Meacham was co-host with Alison Stewart of Need to Know on PBS. He is also a frequent guest on MSNBC's Morning Joe and has appeared multiple times on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher.[6][7][8][9]

Meacham taught History at his alma mater, the University of the South, in 2014.[1] He is a visiting professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University.[10] He has been strongly critical of President Donald Trump. In a 2018 New York Times article, he compared Trump to the Rev. Charles Coughlin, a Catholic priest known for his passionate radio sermons sprinkled with antisemitism. Meacham also drew an unfavorable comparison of Trump's manner of speaking with the more eloquent styles of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.[11]

Meacham was awarded honorary doctorates from several universities: Dickinson College and his alma mater, The University of the South, in May 2010;[12][13][14] Loyola University New Orleans in 2012;[15][16] Wake Forest University,[17] Middlebury College[18] and the University of Tennessee in 2017;[19] and the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2018.[20]

Personal lifeEdit

Meacham resides in Belle Meade, Tennessee.[21] He is an Episcopalian.[22]


  • Voices in Our Blood: America's Best on the Civil Rights Movement (editor). New York: Random House. 2001. ISBN 978-0-375-75881-2.
  • Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship. New York: Random House. 2003. ISBN 978-0-8129-7282-5.
  • American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation. New York: Random House. 2006. ISBN 978-0-8129-7666-3.
  • American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. New York: Random House. 2008. ISBN 978-1-4000-6325-3.
  • American Homer: Reflections on Shelby Foote and His Classic The Civil War: A Narrative (editor). New York: Random House. 2011.
  • Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power. New York: Random House. 2012. ISBN 978-1-4000-6766-4.
  • Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush. New York: Random House. 2015. ISBN 978-1-4000-6765-7.
  • The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels. New York: Random House. 2018. ISBN 978-0-3995-8981-2.


  1. ^ a b "Jon Meacham (C'91) returns to Sewanee as a history professor". The Sewanee Purple. February 15, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  2. ^
  3. ^
  4. ^ Yardley, William (April 5, 2013). "Robert Remini, Exhaustive Andrew Jackson Biographer, Dies at 91". The New York Times. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Joe: Donald Trump's hostile takeover of the Republican Party". Retrieved 2016-06-30.
  7. ^ "Meacham: Bush knew exactly what he was saying". Retrieved 2016-06-30.
  8. ^ Real Time with Bill Maher (2016-01-22), Real Time with Bill Maher: Overtime – January 22, 2016 (HBO), retrieved 2016-06-30
  9. ^ Real Time with Bill Maher (2015-04-17), Real Time with Bill Maher: Overtime – April 17, 2015 (HBO), retrieved 2016-06-30
  10. ^ "Profile". Department of Political Science. Retrieved 2017-10-31.
  11. ^ Meacham, Jon (May 3, 2018). "Why Trump Is More Father Coughlin Than Franklin Roosevelt". The New York Times. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  12. ^ Gregg, Becca (2010-05-23). "Dickinson College sends graduates into the world". The Sentinel. Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  13. ^ "Sewanee honors Bush, Meacham".
  14. ^ "Sewanee announces honorary degree recipients". 12 May 2010.
  15. ^ "Honorary Degrees - Commencement - Loyola University New Orleans".
  16. ^ "Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Meacham to address Loyola's centennial class - Loyola University New Orleans".
  17. ^ "Honorary degrees – Jon Meacham". Wake Forest University. 2017.
  18. ^ "Jon Meacham to Give Middlebury College Commencement Address". Middlebury College. April 6, 2017.
  19. ^ "Board of Trustees Approves Honorary Degree for Pulitzer Prize Writer Meacham". 30 March 2017.
  20. ^ "Pulitzer Winner, Congresswoman to Address Class of 2018".
  21. ^ "Headline Homes: Nashville's top sales, December 2011". Nashville Post. January 15, 2012. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  22. ^ Meacham, Jon. "God and Gays" – via

External linksEdit