David McCullough Biography
David McCullough is an American author, narrator, popular historian, and lecturer. He is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and a recipient of the Presidential Medal for Freedom, in the United States’ he also earned the highest civilian award.
His first book was The Johnstown Flood (1968); and he has since written nine more on such topics as Harry S. Truman, John Adams, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Wright brothers.
McCullough has also narrated numerous documentaries, such as The Civil War by Ken Burns, as well as the 2003 film Seabiscuit; and he hosted American Experience for twelve years. McCullough’s won two Pulitzer Prize-winning books, Truman and John Adams, have been adapted by HBO into a TV film and a miniseries, respectively.
David McCullough Age
David McCullough was born on July 7, 1933, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. He is 85 years old as of 2019. He was born and raised in Pittsburgh, McCullough United States.
David McCullough Family
David McCullough was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the United States to Christian Hax McCullough (father) and Ruth Rankin (mother). He is of Scots-Irish descent. He was born as the fourth child in his family.
David McCullough Wife
David McCullough is married to Rosalee Ingram Barnes in 1954. whom he met at age 17 in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, United States. The couple has five children and nineteen grandchildren.
David McCullough Education
David McCullough attended Linden Avenue Grade School and Shady Side Academy, in his hometown of Pittsburgh. He graduated with honors in English literature in (1955 from Yale University with the intention of becoming a fiction writer and playwright.
David McCullough Author, narrator, popular historian, and lecturer
David McCullough had a “marvelous” childhood with a wide range of interests, including sports and drawing cartoons. His parents and grandmother introduced him often to books at an early age. His parents often talked about history, a topic he says should be discussed more often.
McCullough “loved school, every day”; he contemplated many career choices, ranging from architect, actor, painter, writer, to lawyer, and contemplated attending medical school for a time.
He said that it was a “privilege” to study English at Yale because of faculty members such as John O’Hara, John Hersey, Robert Penn Warren, and Brendan Gill. He occasionally ate lunch with the Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and playwright Thornton Wilder.
Wilder, says McCullough, taught him that a competent writer maintains “an air of freedom” in the storyline, so that a reader will not anticipate the outcome, even if the book is non-fiction.
While at Yale, he became a member of Skull and Bones. He served apprenticeships at Time, Life, the United States Information Agency, and American Heritage, where he enjoyed research. “Once I discovered the endless fascination of doing the research and of doing the writing, I knew I had found what I wanted to do in my life.”
David McCullough was introduced to read and write books by his parents at an early age. After his graduation, he moved to New York City, where Sports Illustrated hired him as a trainee. He later worked as an editor and writer for the United States Information Agency in Washington, D.C.
After working for twelve years, including a position at American Heritage, in editing and writing, McCullough “felt that [he] had reached the point where [he] could attempt something on [his] own.”
He had no anticipation that [he] was going to write history, but [he] stumbled upon a story that [he] thought was powerful, exciting, and very worth telling.” While working at American Heritage, McCullough wrote in his spare time for three years.
The Johnstown Flood, a chronicle of one of the worst flood disasters in United States history, was published in 1968 to high praise by critics. John Leonard, of The New York Times, said of McCullough, “We have no better social historian.” Despite rough financial times, he decided to become a full-time writer, encouraged by his wife Rosalee.
David McCullough after his success on The Johnstown Flood the two new publishers offered him contracts and one to write about the Great Chicago Fire and another about the San Francisco earthquake. Simon & Schuster, publisher of his first book, also offered McCullough a contract to write a second book.
Trying not to become “Bad News McCullough”, he decided to write about a subject showing “people were not always foolish and inept or irresponsible.” He remembered the words of his Yale teacher: “[Thornton] Wilder said he got the idea for a book or a play when he wanted to learn about something.
Then, he’d check to see if anybody had already done it, and if they hadn’t, he’d do it.” He decided to write a history of the Brooklyn Bridge, which he had walked across many times. He also proposed, a suggestion by his editor, a work about the Panama Canal; both were accepted by the publisher.
Five years later, The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal was released, gaining McCullough widespread recognition. The book won the National Book Award in History, the Samuel Eliot Morison Award, the Francis Parkman Prize, and the Cornelius Ryan Award.
In 1977, he traveled to the White House to advise Jimmy Carter and the United States Senate on the Torrijos-Carter Treaties, which would give Panama control of the Canal. Carter later said that the treaties were agreed upon to hand over ownership of the Canal to Panama, would not have passed had it not been for the book.
“The story of people”
McCullough’s fourth work was his first biography, reinforcing his belief that “history is the story of people”. Released in 1981, Mornings on Horseback tells the story of seventeen years in the life of Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th President of the United States.
The work ranged from Roosevelt’s childhood to 1886, and tells of a “life intensely lived.” The book won McCullough’s second National Book Award [a] and his first Los Angeles Times Prize for Biography and New York Public Library Literary Lion Award.
Next, he published Brave Companions, a collection of essays that “unfold seamlessly”. Written over twenty years, the book includes essays about Louis Agassiz, Alexander von Humboldt, John and Washington Roebling, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Conrad Richter, and Frederic Remington.
With his next book, he published his second biography, Truman (1993) about the 33rd president. The book won McCullough his first Pulitzer Prize, in the category of “Best Biography or Autobiography,” and his second Francis Parkman Prize.
Two years later, the book was adapted as Truman (1995), a television film by HBO, starring Gary Sinise as Truman. She published John Adams (2001), his third biography about a United States president.
One of the fastest-selling non-fiction books in history, the book won McCullough’s second Pulitzer Prize for “Best Biography or Autobiography” in 2002.
He started it as a book about the founding fathers and back-to-back presidents John Adams and Thomas Jefferson but dropped Jefferson to focus on Adams.
HBO adapted John Adams as a seven-part miniseries by the same name. Premiering in 2008, it starred Paul Giamatti in the title role. The DVD version of the miniseries includes the biographical documentary, David McCullough: Painting with Words.
McCullough’s 1776, tells the story of the founding year of the United States, focusing on George Washington, the amateur army, and other struggles for independence. Because of McCullough’s popularity, its initial printing was 1.25 million copies, many more than the average history book.
Upon its release, the book was a number one best-seller in the United States. A miniseries adaptation of 1776 was rumored. McCullough considered writing a sequel to 1776. However, he signed a contract with Simon & Schuster to do a work about Americans in Paris between 1830 and 1900, The Greater Journey, which was published in 2011.
The book covers 19th-century Americans, including Mark Twain and Samuel Morse, who migrated to Paris and went on to achieve importance in culture or innovation.
Other subjects include Benjamin Silliman, who had been Morse’s science teacher at Yale, Elihu Washburne, the American ambassador to France during the Franco-Prussian War, and Elizabeth Blackwell, the first female doctor in the United States.
In 2015, McCullough’s published a book known as The Wright Brothers. On October 6, 2016, Simon & Schuster announced that they would publish David McCullough’s new book, The Pioneers, in 2019.
The Pioneers is the story of the first European American settlers of the Northwest Territory, a vast American wilderness to which the Ohio River was the gateway.
David McCullough Net worth
David McCullough is an American author, narrator, popular historian, and lecturer who has an estimated net worth of $ 8 million dollars as of 2019.
David McCullough Awards and accolades
David McCullough received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in December 2006, the highest civilian award that a United States citizen can receive. In 1995 the National Book Foundation conferred its lifetime Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters.
He has been awarded more than 40 honorary degrees, including one from the Eastern Nazarene College in John Adams’ hometown of Quincy, Massachusetts. He received two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Book Awards, two Francis Parkman Prizes, the Los Angeles Times Book Award, New York Public Library’s Literary Lion Award, and the St.
Louis Literary Award from the Saint Louis University Library Associates, among others. He was chosen to deliver the first annual John Hersey Lecture at Yale University on March 22, 1993. He is a member of the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship and the Academy of Achievement.
In 2003, the National Endowment for the Humanities selected McCullough for the Jefferson Lecture, the U.S. federal government’s highest honor for achievement in the humanities. McCullough’s lecture was entitled “The Course of Human Events”.
In 1995, McCullough received the Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award. The Helmerich Award is presented annually by the Tulsa Library Trust. He has been called a “master of the art of narrative history.” The New York Times critic John Leonard wrote that McCullough was “incapable of writing a page of bad prose.”
His works have been published in ten languages, over nine million copies have been printed, and all of his books are still in print. On December 2012, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania announced that it would rename the 16th Street Bridge in Pittsburgh in honor of McCullough. In a ceremony at Maxwell Air Force Base,
Alabama, on November 16, 2015, the Air University of the United States Air Force awarded McCullough an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters degree. He was also made an honorary member of Phi Beta Kappa at Yale University in 2015. On May 11, 2016, McCullough received the United States Capitol Historical Society’s Freedom Award.
It was presented in the National Statuary Hall. On September 2016, he received the Gerry Lenfest Spirit of the American Revolution Award from the Museum of the American Revolution.
David McCullough Narrations
David McCullough has narrated many television shows and documentaries throughout his career. In addition to narrating the 2003 film Seabiscuit, McCullough hosted PBS’s American Experience from 1988 to 1999.
McCullough narrated numerous documentaries directed by Ken Burns, including the Emmy Award-winning The Civil War, the Academy Award-nominated Brooklyn Bridge, The Statue of Liberty, and The Congress.
He served as a guest narrator for The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, a Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas concert special that aired on PBS in 2010. He also narrated some of his own audiobooks, including introductions for the anniversary edition of The Great Bridge and The Greater Journey and the entire audiobooks of 1776 and The Wright Brothers.
David McCullough Books
- John Adams (book) 2001
- The Wright Brothers (book) 2015
- Truman (book) 1992
- McUllough 2006
- John Adams: The Pulitzer Prize-Winning Biography 2012
- Historical Encyclopedia of Illinois – Scholar’s Choice Edition 2015
- McCullough: Family Records 2006
- Truman Part 1 of 2 1992
- One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-Six 2005
- In the Dark Streets Shineth: A 1941 Christmas Eve Story 2010
- The Great Bridge 1972
- Brave Companions: Portraits in History 1991
- Mornings on Horseback 1981
- The Path Between the Seas 1977
- The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West 2019
- Combined Science: GCSE Subject Content 1979
- Character Above All: David McCullough on Harry S. Truman 1996
- Seventeen Seventy-six 2005
We endeavor to keep our content True, Accurate, Correct, Original and Up to Date.
If you believe that any information in this article is Incorrect, Incomplete, Plagiarised, violates your Copyright right or you want to propose an update, please send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating the proposed changes and the content URL. Provide as much information as you can and we promise to take corrective measures to the best of our abilities.