Lee Edwards (born 1932) is an American distinguished fellow in conservative thought at the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies at The Heritage Foundation. A historian of the conservative movement in America,[1][2] he is the author or editor of 25 books,[3][4] including biographies of President Ronald Reagan, Senator Barry Goldwater, Attorney General Edwin Meese III and William F. Buckley Jr. He is currently the Chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation.

Lee Edwards
Lee Edwards publicity shot.jpg
OccupationHistorian and author
Heritage Foundation fellow


Edwards was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1932. At an early age, he was introduced to conservative values and the importance of the written word by his parents; both of Edwards' parents were anti-communist, and his father was a journalist for the Chicago Tribune.[5]

He holds a bachelor's degree in English from Duke University and a doctorate in world politics from Catholic University.[3]


Edwards' involvement in the conservative movement began in 1960. He was one of the founding members of Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), and then he worked for the YAF-magazine New Guard as editor.[6] Later he served as the director of information for the Barry Goldwater presidential campaign in 1964. In 1969, the New York Times dubbed Edwards "the voice of the silent majority."[5] He has acted as a consultant for the Richard Nixon administration, Senators Strom Thurmond and Bob Dole, the Republican National Committee, YAF, the American Conservative Union, the Committee for a Free China and the American Council for World Freedom.[5]

Edwards has written biographies of Ronald Reagan, William F. Buckley, Edwin Meese III and Goldwater,[7][8][9][10] as well as a number of other books, which include The Conservative Revolution: The Movement That Remade America,[11] The Power of Ideas,[12] a retrospective on the first 25 years of the Heritage Foundation, and a history of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute.[3]

He was the initial editor of the Conservative Digest in 1975,[5] and has been a senior editor for The World & I.[13] He has also written for major newspapers including The Boston Globe, Detroit News, Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times,[14] as well as magazines such as Crisis, National Review, Policy Review and Reader's Digest. He is a frequent commentator on television and radio and has appeared on Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor and Fox and Friends, PBS' The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, C-SPAN's Booknotes and Washington Journal and NPR's The Diane Rehm Show. He has lectured in nearly 20 nations on various aspects of American and world politics.[3]

Edwards was the founding director of the Institute on Political Journalism at Georgetown University and a fellow at the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.[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 at the B. Kenneth Simon Center for American Studies at The Heritage Foundation,[19] and as of 2011, holds the title of adjunct professor of politics at the Catholic University of America and at the Institute of World Politics.[3][20]

In addition, he is chairman of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, an organization dedicated to the creation of an international memorial in Washington in 2007 to the victims of communism across history and the online Global Museum on Communism.[21]

He is a signatory of the Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism.[22]

Honors he has been awarded include the Millennium Star of Lithuania, the Cross of Terra Mariana of Estonia, the Friendship Medal of Diplomacy from the Republic of China (Taiwan), the John Ashbrook Award, the Reed Irvine Accuracy in Media Award and the Walter Judd Freedom Award.[20]


He and his wife, Anne, who assists him in all his writing, live in Alexandria, Virginia. They have two daughters and eleven grandchildren.[3]


  1. ^ Hoplin, Nicole; Robinson, Ron (2008). Funding fathers: the unsung heroes of the conservative movement. Regnery Publishing. p. 81. ISBN 978-1-59698-562-9.
  2. ^ Regnery, Alfred S. (2008). Upstream: the ascendance of American conservatism. Regnery Publishing. p. x. ISBN 978-1-4165-2288-1.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Lee Edwards Profile". Comment Is Free. The Guardian. Missing or empty |url= (help)
  4. ^ "Lee Edwards". The Heritage Foundation. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  5. ^ a b c d Spalding, Elizabeth (16 September 2010). "Edwards, Lee". First Principles. Intercollegiate Studies Institute. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  6. ^ 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. 211–12. doi:10.4135/9781412965811.n127. ISBN 978-1-4129-6580-4. 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. ^ "Good-bye to Isolationism". The World &nd I. June 1995. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  14. ^ Edwards, Lee (7 June 2004). "The Age of Reagan". The Washington Times. Retrieved 29 April 2010.
  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. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20100223102538/http://phillysoc.org/presiden.htm. Archived from the original on 23 February 2010. Retrieved 14 December 2011. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  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 9 June 2011.
  20. ^ a b "Lee Edwards". The Institute of World Politics. Retrieved 9 June 2011.
  21. ^ https://web.archive.org/web/20090626064941/http://www.globalmuseumoncommunism.org/content/board-directors. Archived from the original on 26 June 2009. Retrieved 3 November 2009. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  22. ^ "Prague Declaration on European Conscience and Communism - Press Release". Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. 9 June 2008. Archived from the original on 13 May 2011. Retrieved 10 May 2011.

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