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LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Biographer David McCullough, one of the most successful and honored historians in America and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, has been named the 2008 Janet Weis Fellow in Contemporary Letters at Bucknell University.

McCullough will receive the award and give a talk at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 7, in the Weis Center for the Performing Arts at Bucknell. The talk, titled "A Conversation with David McCullough," is free and open to the public. Tickets will be required. Ticket information will be announced soon.

"David McCullough is considered one of the finest historical biographers of our time," said Bucknell President Brian C. Mitchell. "We look forward to welcoming to Bucknell a writer of his achievement, and to his sharing his insights on America, its leaders, and its history with our campus and our community."

Highest level of achievement
Bucknell established the annual Janet Weis Fellow in Contemporary Letters in 2002 to honor and recognize an individual who represents the highest level of achievement in the craft of writing within the realms of fiction, non-fiction, or biography. Previous recipients have been Toni Morrison, John Updike, Salman Rushdie, Tom Wolfe, Joyce Carol Oates, and Derek Walcott.

McCullough, who received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006, has twice won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, and the Francis Parkman Prize. His works, including John Adams, Truman, 1776, The Johnstown Flood, The Great Bridge, The Path Between the Seas, Mornings on Horseback, and Brave Companions, have been called masterpieces of narrative history and exemplary works of scholarship into American life. John Adams, Truman, and 1776 were all New York Times bestsellers.

McCullough has been an editor, essayist, teacher, and lecturer. He has hosted public television's "Smithsonian World" and "The American Experience" and narrated numerous documentaries, including "The Civil War" and "Napoleon." A recipient of 31 honorary degrees, McCullough is a past president of the Society of American Historians and has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American academy of Arts and Letters.

Additional honors
McCullough has also been honored for his work with the National Book Foundation Distinguished Contribution to American Letters Award, the National Humanities Medal, the St. Louis Literary Award, the Carl Sandburg Award, and the New York Public Library’s Literary Lion Award.

Born in Pittsburgh in 1933, McCullough was educated there and at Yale, where he graduated with honors in English literature.

The Weis Fellowship was established through a grant from the Degenstein Foundation in honor of Janet Weis, author, civic leader, and philanthropist. Mrs. Weis is trustee emerita of the University. Mrs. Weis' late husband, Sigfried Weis, was chair of the Bucknell Board of Trustees from 1982-88.

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