Jon Meacham

Jon Ellis Meacham (/ˈməm/; born May 20, 1969) is a writer, reviewer, and presidential biographer. A former Executive Editor and Executive Vice President at Random House, he is a contributing writer to The New York Times Book Review, a contributing editor to Time magazine, and a former Editor-in-Chief of Newsweek. He is the author of several books. He won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography for American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. He holds the Carolyn T. and Robert M. Rogers Endowed Chair in American Presidency at Vanderbilt University and is also a distinguished visiting professor in the Department of Political Science at Vanderbilt University.

Jon Meacham
Jon Meacham, 2014
BornJon Ellis Meacham
(1969-05-20) May 20, 1969
Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.
OccupationWriter, journalist, editor
ResidenceBelle Meade, Tennessee
Alma materThe University of the South
Notable awardsPulitzer Prize
Years active1995–present
SpouseMargaret Keith Smythe Meacham

Early life

Meacham was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was educated at The McCallie School, and he earned a bachelor's degree from The University of the South in 1991.[1]


Jon Meacham is a well-respected, Pulitzer Prize-winning, and New York Times bestselling presidential historian and journalist. He has written numerous books on American history and U.S. presidents. Meacham has explored America's leaders in such works as Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power[2] as well as his biography of Andrew Jackson, American Lion, which won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography.[3]

Meacham had read Robert V. Remini's three-volume biography of Jackson while in high school. Remini read Meacham's biography of Jackson in manuscript.[4]

Meacham was selected by the Bush family to be the official biographer for George H. W. Bush. Meacham's book about the former president, Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush, was published in 2015. Meacham was asked to give the eulogies for both President Bush and Barbara Bush when they died in 2018.[5]

From May 2010 to April 2011, Meacham was co-host with Alison Stewart of Need to Know on PBS. He is also a frequent guest on MSNBC's Morning Joe and has appeared multiple times on HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher.[6][7][8][9]

Meacham taught history at his alma mater, the University of the South, in 2014.[1] He is a visiting professor of political science at Vanderbilt University.[10] Meacham has been strongly critical of President Donald Trump; in a 2018 New York Times article, he compared Trump to the Rev. Charles Coughlin, a Catholic priest known for his passionate radio sermons sprinkled with antisemitism. Meacham also drew an unfavorable comparison of Trump's manner of speaking with the more eloquent styles of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan.[11]

Meacham has been awarded honorary doctorates from several universities: Dickinson College and his alma mater, The University of the South D.Litt, in May 2010;[12][13][14] Loyola University New Orleans DHL on 12 May 2012;[15][16] Wake Forest University,[17] Middlebury College D.Litt on 28 May 2017. [18] and the University of Tennessee DHL in December 2017;[19] and the University of Massachusetts Lowell in 2018.[20] and Millsaps College on 11 May 2019. [21]

Personal life

Meacham resides in Belle Meade, Tennessee with his wife and three children.[22] He is an Episcopalian.[23]


  • Voices in Our Blood: America's Best on the Civil Rights Movement (editor). New York: Random House. 2001. ISBN 978-0-375-75881-2.
  • Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of an Epic Friendship. New York: Random House. 2003. ISBN 978-0-8129-7282-5.
  • American Gospel: God, the Founding Fathers, and the Making of a Nation. New York: Random House. 2006. ISBN 978-0-8129-7666-3.
  • American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House. New York: Random House. 2008. ISBN 978-1-4000-6325-3.
  • American Homer: Reflections on Shelby Foote and His Classic The Civil War: A Narrative (editor). New York: Random House. 2011.
  • Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power. New York: Random House. 2012. ISBN 978-1-4000-6766-4.
  • Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush. New York: Random House. 2015. ISBN 978-1-4000-6765-7.
  • The Soul of America: The Battle for Our Better Angels. New York: Random House. 2018. ISBN 978-0-3995-8981-2.
  • Songs of America: Patriotism, Protest, and the Music That Made a Nation. New York: Random House. 2019. ISBN 978-0593132951.


  1. "Jon Meacham (C'91) returns to Sewanee as a history professor". The Sewanee Purple. February 15, 2014. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  2. "Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power by Jon Meacham". Amazon. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  3. "American Lion: Jon Meacham". Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  4. Yardley, William (April 5, 2013). "Robert Remini, Exhaustive Andrew Jackson Biographer, Dies at 91". The New York Times. Retrieved May 12, 2019.
  5. Tackett, Michael (December 4, 2018). "Jon Meacham, Bush's Biographer, Will Also Deliver a Eulogy". The New York Times. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  6. "Joe: Donald Trump's hostile takeover of the Republican Party". MSNBC. March 2, 2016. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  7. "Meacham: Bush knew exactly what he was saying". MSNBC. November 6, 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  8. Real Time with Bill Maher (January 22, 2016). "Real Time with Bill Maher: Overtime – January 22, 2016 (HBO)". Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  9. Real Time with Bill Maher (April 17, 2015). "Real Time with Bill Maher: Overtime – April 17, 2015 (HBO)". Retrieved June 30, 2016.
  10. "Profile". Department of Political Science. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
  11. Meacham, Jon (May 3, 2018). "Why Trump Is More Father Coughlin Than Franklin Roosevelt". The New York Times. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  12. Gregg, Becca (May 23, 2010). "Dickinson College sends graduates into the world". The Sentinel. Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Retrieved May 17, 2017.
  13. Mercer, Monica (May 16, 2010). "Sewanee honors Bush, Meacham". Chattanooga Times Free Press. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  14. "Sewanee announces honorary degree recipients". Episcopal Church. May 13, 2010. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  15. "Honorary Degrees". Loyola University New Orleans. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  16. "Pulitzer Prize winner Jon Meacham to address Loyola's centennial class". Loyola University New Orleans. March 20, 2012. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  17. "2017: Honorary degrees". Wake Forest University. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  18. "Jon Meacham to Give Middlebury College Commencement Address". Middlebury College. April 6, 2017. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  19. "Board of Trustees Approves Honorary Degree for Pulitzer Prize Writer Meacham". University of Tennessee. March 30, 2017. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  20. "Pulitzer Winner, Congresswoman to Address Class of 2018". University of Massachusetts Lowell. May 18, 2018. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
  22. "Headline Homes: Nashville's top sales, December 2011". Nashville Post. January 15, 2012. Retrieved June 9, 2018.
  23. Meacham, Jon (July 16, 2012). "God and Gays". TIME. Retrieved June 13, 2019.
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