Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin laughing it up with ACE Senior VP Terry Hartle. Photo by: American Council on Education.

Doris Kearns Goodwin Life

Doris Kearns Goodwin was born in Brooklyn, New York on January 4th, 1943. She is the daughter of Helen Witt and Michael Francis Aloysius Kearns.  Interestingly enough Goodwin’s paternal grandparents were Irish immigrants.  Doris Kearns Goodwin is an award winning author, historian and political commentator.

Doris Kearns Goodwin Career

Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris really is a charming lady! Photo by: LBJ Foundation

In 1967, Doris went to Washington, D.C., as a White House Fellow during the Lyndon B. Johnson administration. Johnson initially wanted to keep Doris Kearns Goodwin as an Oval office assistant; but she was instead assigned to the Department of Labor.

Later when Johnson decided not to run for reelection, he brought Kearns to the White House as a member of his staff, where she focused on domestic anti-poverty efforts.

After Doris Kearns Goodwin left the office in 1969 she wrote her first book, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream, which became the launching pad for her writing career. Not to mention Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream became a New York Times best seller.

Goodwin also won the Pulitzer Prize in 1995 for No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The American Home front During World War II. Plus, Doris Kearns Goodwin was the first female journalist to enter the Boston Red Sox locker room (man how the times have changed). She consulted on and appeared in Ken Burns’s 1994 documentary, Baseball.

Doris Kearns Goodwin also won the 2005 Lincoln Prize; she was awarded for the best book about the American Civil War, for Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, a book about Abraham Lincoln’s presidential cabinet. Did you know that part of the book was adapted by Tony Kushner into the screenplay for Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln? How cool!

Doris Kearns at Harvard

In 1968, Kearns earned a P.h.D in government from Harvard University, with a thesis titled “Prayer and Reapportionment: An Analysis of the Relationship between the Congress and the Court”.