Lee Willard Edwards (born 1932) is an American academic and author, currently a fellow at The Heritage Foundation. He is a historian of the conservative movement in America.[1][2]

Lee Edwards publicity shot.jpg


Edwards was born in Chicago in 1932. Edwards says he was influenced by the politics of his parents, both anti-communist. His father Willard was a journalist for the Chicago Tribune.[3]

He holds a bachelor's degree in English from Duke University and a doctorate in political science from Catholic University.[4] His dissertation was Congress and the origins of the Cold War, 1946–1948.[5]


External video
  Booknotes interview with Edwards on The Life and Times of Walter Judd, September 2, 1990, C-SPAN
  Q&A interview with Edwards on Just Right, December 24, 2017, C-SPAN

Edwards helped found Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) in 1960, and then worked for the YAF magazine New Guard as editor.[6] In 1963, he became news director of the Draft Goldwater Committee.[6]

His publications include biographies of Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley, Edwin Meese III and Goldwater,[7][8][9][10] and a work of history, The Conservative Revolution: The Movement That Remade America[11] and The Power of Ideas.[12] He acted as senior editor for the World & I, owned by a subsidiary of Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church.[13][14]

Edwards was the founding director of the Institute on Political Journalism at Georgetown University and a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics.[15] He is a past president of the Philadelphia Society and has been a media fellow at the Hoover Institution.[16][17][18]

He is a distinguished fellow in conservative thought in the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies at The Heritage Foundation,[19] and as of 2011, was an adjunct professor of politics at the Catholic University of America and Institute of World Politics.[20] Edwards co-founded the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation with the Heritage Foundation's founder and chairman, Edwin Feulner, and was appointed its chairman emeritus.[21] Edwards is a signatory of the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism.[22]


He and his wife, Anne, who assists him in all his writing, live in Alexandria, Virginia. They have two daughters and eleven grandchildren.


  1. ^ Hoplin, Nicole; Robinson, Ron (2008). Funding fathers: the unsung heroes of the conservative movement. Regnery Publishing. p. 81. ISBN 978-1596985629.
  2. ^ Regnery, Alfred S. (2008). Upstream: the ascendance of American conservatism. Regnery Publishing. p. x. ISBN 978-1416522881.
  3. ^ Spalding, Elizabeth (16 September 2010). "Edwards, Lee". First Principles. Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Archived from the original on 20 July 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  4. ^ "Dr. Lee Edwards". omeka.binghamton.edu. Retrieved 29 March 2021.
  5. ^ "Congress and the Origins of the Cold War: 1946–1948". ProQuest.
  6. ^ a b Olmstead, Gracy. "Lee Edwards: When the 'New Right' Was New". The American Conservative. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  7. ^ Edwards, Lee (27 January 2011). "Reagan prepared for the presidency in the political wilderness". The Washington Examiner. Retrieved 9 June 2011.[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ Judis, John B. (24 September 1995). "The Man Who Knew Too Little". The Washington Post. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  9. ^ Lopez, Kathryn Jean (12 May 2010). "Lee Edwards on His WFB Biography". National Review. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  10. ^ Edwards, Lee (2008). "Goldwater, Barry (1909–1998)". In Hamowy, Ronald (ed.). The Encyclopedia of Libertarianism. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage; Cato Institute. pp. 211–212. doi:10.4135/9781412965811.n127. ISBN 978-1412965804. LCCN 2008009151. OCLC 750831024.
  11. ^ Piper, Randy (17 March 2005). "Gingrich VisionS – Winning The Future". US Progressive Conservatives. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  12. ^ Weisberg, Jacob (9 January 1998). "Happy Birthday, Heritage Foundation". Slate. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  13. ^ Annys Shin (3 May 2004). "News World Layoffs to Idle 86 Workers". Washington Post. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Good-bye to Isolationism". The World &nd I. June 1995. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  15. ^ "Former Fellow Lee Edwards". Harvard University Institute of Politics. Archived from the original on 23 March 2012. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  16. ^ "2009 National Presentations". Philadelphia Society. Retrieved 9 June 2011.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ "Presidents of the Philadelphia Society". Archived from the original on 23 February 2010. Retrieved 14 December 2011.
  18. ^ "William and Barbara Edwards Media Fellows by year". Hoover Institution. Stanford University. Archived from the original on 1 November 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  19. ^ "Lee Edwards, Ph.D." The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  20. ^ "Lee Edwards". The Institute of World Politics. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  21. ^ "Board of Directors | Global Museum on Communism". Archived from the original on 26 June 2009. Retrieved 3 November 2009.
  22. ^ "Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism – Press Release". Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. 9 June 2008. Archived from the original on 18 May 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2011.

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