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Melanie Coen
Dole Institute of Politics
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Dole Institute to host Richard Norton Smith on new biography

Mon, 11/17/2014

LAWRENCE – The Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas will welcome back former Dole Institute director, historian and author Richard Norton Smith, who will discuss his new biography, “On His Own Terms: A Life of Nelson Rockefeller.”

This event, which will take place at 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23, will include a book sale and signing of the recently released biography.

In “On His Own Terms,” Smith chronicles one of the most iconic and complex figures of the Gilded Age, Nelson Rockefeller, who was a philanthropist, businessman and politician. From his time spent as New York governor to his vice presidency under President Gerald Ford, to his relationships with other key political figures of the time and campaigns for presidency, Rockefeller’s life was one of power and intrigue.

“Richard’s new book is arguably the most important political biography of the year,” said Dole Institute director Bill Lacy. “We look forward to Richard’s depth of knowledge paired with his entertaining anecdotes that will shed new light on Rockefeller’s life and underscore the critical acclaim of his book.”

Smith is best known as an historian and biographer. Among other presidential institutions, Smith was the director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Presidential Foundation and the Reagan Center for Public Affairs. In 2001, Smith became the director of the Dole Institute of Politics, supervising the construction of the Institute’s landmark home. In 2003, he was appointed the first executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Since 2006, Smith has been a Scholar in Residence at George Mason University in Washington, D.C.

Smith frequently contributes to publications such as Time Magazine, Life Magazine and The New York Times. He is a recurring guest on C-SPAN and the PBS NewsHour. In addition to the Rockefeller biography, Smith is also the author of “Thomas E. Dewey and His Times,” “Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation,” “Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover,” “The Colonel: The Life and Legend of Robert R. McCormick,” including the definitive work on former U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, with whom he has collaborated on various projects.

The Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting public service, civic engagement and politics.  It is located on KU’s west campus and includes the Robert J. Dole Archive & Special Collections. The Institute offers free public programming with world-renowned guest speakers on a variety of topics that intersect politics, as well as interactive opportunities for students of all ages.



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