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Brinkley, Douglas


Born: December 14, 1960

Ohio connection: Former Resident

Dr. Douglas Brinkley currently serves as Professor of History and Fellow, James Baker, III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. He completed his bachelor’s degree at The Ohio State University and received his doctorate in U.S. Diplomatic History from Georgetown University in 1989. He then spent a year at both the U.S. Naval Academy and Princeton University teaching history. While a professor at Hofstra University, Dr. Brinkley spearheaded the American Odyssey course, in which he took students on numerous cross-country treks where they visited historic sites and met seminal figures in politics and literature. Dr. Brinkley’s 1994 book The Majic Bus: An American Odyssey chronicled his first experience teaching this innovative on-the-road class which became the progenitor of C-SPAN’s Yellow School Bus.

Four of Dr. Brinkley’s biographies have been selected as New York Times "Notable Books of the Year": Dean Acheson: The Cold War Years (1992); Driven Patriot: The Life and Times of James Forrestal, with Townsend Hoopes (1992); The Unfinished Presidency: Jimmy Carter’s Journey Beyond the White House (1998); and Wheels for the World: Henry Ford, His Company and a Century of Progress (2003).  Three of his recent publications have become New York Times best-sellers: The Boys of Pointe du Hoc: Ronald Reagan, D-Day and the U.S. Army 2nd Ranger Battalion (2005); Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War (2004); and Parish Priest: Father McGivney and American Catholicism (2006).  He won the Benjamin Franklin Award for The American Heritage History of the United States (1998), was awarded the Business Week Book of the Year Award for Wheels for the World.  Ohioana Book Award for Nonfiction, 2007.