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Doris Kearns Goodwin


Basic Facts:

Dates: January 4, 1943 -

Occupation: writer, biographer; professor of government, Harvard University; assistant to President Lyndon Johnson

Known for: biographies, including of Lyndon Johnson and Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt; book Team of Rivals as an inspiration to President-Elect Barack Obama in picking a cabinet

Also known as: Doris Helen Kearns, Doris Kearns

Religion: Roman Catholic

Background, Family:

  • Father: Michael Alouisius
  • Mother: Helen Witt Kearns


  • Colby College, B.A.
  • Harvard University, Ph.D., 1968

Marriage, Children:

  • husband: Richard Goodwin (married 1975; writer, political advisor)
  • children: Richard, Michael, Joseph

About Doris Kearns Goodwin:

A one-time professor of government at Harvard University, Doris Kearns became a White House Fellow, assisting Willar Wirtz. She came to the attention of President Lyndon Johnson when she co-wrote a very critical article on Johnson for the New Republic magazine. Several months later, when they met in person at the White House, Johnson asked her to work with him in the White House. He soon asked her to help write his memoirs.

During and after Johnson's Presidency, Kearns visited Johnson many times, and, three years after his death, published her first book, Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream. She drew on the friendship and conversations with Johnson, supplemented by careful research and critical analysis, to present a picture of his accomplishments, failures and motivations.

She married Richard Goodwin in 1975. Her husband, an advisor to John and Robert Kennedy as well as a writer, helped her to gain access to people and papers for her story on the Kennedy family, begun in 1977 and finished ten years later. This book, too, was acclaimed critically, and was made into a television movie.

In 1995 Doris Kearns Goodwin was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for her biography of Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, No Ordinary Time. She then turned to writing a memoir of her own, about growing up as a Brooklyn Dodgers fan, Wait Till Next Year.

In 2005, Doris Kearns Goodwin published Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. When Barack Obama was elected as president in 2008, his selections for cabinet positions were reportedly influenced by his wanting to build a similar "team of rivals."

Doris Kearns Goodwin is a regular political commentator for television and radio.

Note: I do not have Doris Kearns Goodwin's email address, mailing address or postal address. If you're trying to get in touch with her, I suggest you contact her publisher. To find her most recent publisher, check the "Books By Doris Kearns Goodwin" section below or her official website. For speaking dates, try contacting her agent, Beth Laski and Associates, in California.

Books By Doris Kearns Goodwin:

  • Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga: 1991 (trade paperback)
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  • Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream: 1991 (trade paperback)
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  • No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt -- The Home Front in World War II: 1994 (hardcover)
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  • No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt -- The Home Front in World War II: 1995 (trade paperback)
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  • Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir: 1997 (hardcover)
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  • Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir: 1998 (trade paperback)
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  • Leader to Leader: Enduring Insights on Leadership from the Drucker Foundation's Award-Winning Journal. Editors: Paul M. Cohen, Frances Hesselbein: 1999. (hardcover) Includes an essay by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
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  • Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln: 2005
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More About Doris Kearns Goodwin:

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