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Media Sources Guide

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Richard Norton Smith

Scholar-in-Residence of History and Public Policy

Expertise: Presidential history, presidential libraries

Smith is a presidential historian and former head of six presidential libraries. He can discuss presidential trivia, trends and movements in presidential history, past elections, and most anything and everything related to the presidency.

He has published numerous books, including “An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover” (1984), “The Harvard Century: The Making of a University to a Nation” (1986) and “Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation” (1993). His book, “Thomas E. Dewey and His Times,” was a finalist for the 1983 Pulitzer Prize.

Between 1987 and 2003, Smith served as director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, Iowa; the Dwight D. Eisenhower Center in Abilene, Kan.; the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and the Reagan Center for Public Affairs in Simi Valley, Calif.; the Gerald R. Ford Museum and Library in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, Mich., respectively; and Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas in Lawrence.

He is a nationally recognized expert on the American presidency and appears regularly on C-Span and “The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer” as part of the show's roundtable of historians.

Reporters please note: Due to the overwhelming amount of media requests he gets, Richard generally does not comment on any current presidency, current presidential elections or races, or current political parties. He is most interested in being interviewed for in-depth stories with a strong historical angle to them.

Other non-media queries or requests, including speaking engagements, should be directed to the Department of Public Policy, (703) 993-2280.

Media Contact: Buzz McClain, (703) 993-8782,