Edmund Morris

Pulitzer Prize winner, biographer of Theodore Roosevelt (trilogy), Ronald Reagan, Beethoven, classically trainer pianist

Edmund Morris appears in sessions on these topics

Born and educated in Kenya, and emigrated to the United States in 1968. Lives in New York City and Kent, Connecticut.

Author, The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt (Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award, 1980). In 1985, appointed President Ronald Reagan's biographer. Dutch: A Memoir of Ronald Reagan was published in September, 1999 and became a New York Times bestseller. The book's stylistic innovations, such as the use of multiple narrative voices, caused an international stir. "Dutch never fails to convey the power and mystery of its subject," remarked the New York Times Book Review.

In the fall of 2001, Mr. Morris published Theodore Rex, the second volume of his life of the 26th President. It became an immediate bestseller, won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography, and currently has three-quarters of a million copies in print. "As a literary work on Theodore Roosevelt, it is unlikely ever to be surpassed," the Times Literary Supplement declared, calling it "one of the great histories of the American presidency, worthy of being on a shelf alongside Henry Adams's volumes on Jefferson and Madison."

Mr. Morris's subsequent book, Beethoven: The Universal Composer, went through four printings. It was hailed by the Washington Post as a "deft, deeply satisfying" musical biography, distinguished by "vast reserves of feeling, fancy and intelligence."

In November 2010, a chorus of critical praise greeted the publication of Colonel Roosevelt, the final volume of Mr. Morris's Roosevelt trilogy. Within two weeks it was New York Times bestseller. Janet Maslin wrote in that paper: "With Colonel Roosevelt, the magnum opus is complete. And it deserves to stand as the definitive study of its restless, mutable, ever-boyish, erudite and tirelessly energetic subject. [Morris] has every reason to feel immensely proud." Other reviews called the book "hair-raising ... awe-inspiring" (San Francisco Chronicle), "masterful" (Los Angeles Times), "a wide-screen adventure in brilliant color" (Newsday), and "an elegantly written page-turner" (Minneapolis Star-Tribune). "Reading Edmund Morris on Theodore Roosevelt is like listening to Yo-Yo Ma play Bach," remarked the Washingtonian. "You know from the first note you're in inspired hands."

In 1911, Random House published a collection of Mr. Morris's miscellaneous writings, entitled This Living Hand and Other Essays. He is currently working on a biography of Thomas Edison.

Mr. Morris has been the subject of a two-segment profile on 60 Minutes, and appears extensively on national television. His Roosevelt and Beethoven biographies were both featured on CBS Sunday Morning. He has written on literature and music for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Harper's, and other periodicals. He is a member of the Modern Library Editorial Board, and has been writer in residence at the University of Chicago. He has lectured at many venues, including Harvard, Princeton, and Brown Universities, the New-York Historical Society, the 92nd Street Y, the National Portrait Gallery, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A classically trained pianist, he made his debut in 2007 at a sold-out concert by nonprofessional musicians in New York's Carnegie Hall.

Edmund Morris