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If you like Stephen Ambrose's story, you might also like:
Tom Clancy,
David Herbert Donald,
Doris Kearns Goodwin,
Shelby Foote,
David McCullough
and James Michener

Stephen Ambrose's recommended reading: R.E. Lee, A Biography

Stephen Ambrose also appears in the video:
The Power of Words

Teachers can find prepared lesson plans featuring Stephen Ambrose in the Achievement Curriculum section:
The Power of Words

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Stephen Ambrose
Stephen Ambrose
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Stephen Ambrose Biography

Biographer and Historian

Stephen Ambrose Date of birth: January 10, 1936
Date of death: October 13, 2002

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  Stephen Ambrose

Stephen Ambrose was born in Lovington, Illinois, where his father was the town doctor. With the outbreak of World War II, Dr. Ambrose joined the Navy, and the family traveled with him to various postings in the United States until he went overseas. The patriotic atmosphere of the war years has remained part of Stephen Ambrose's life and work ever since. At war's end the family settled in Whitewater, Wisconsin. Stephen entered the University of Wisconsin as a pre-med student, planning to follow in his father's footsteps, but his first college-level class in American history permanently changed his direction in life. He discovered a passion for original research, and for telling the inspiring stories of American heroes in print and at the lecturer's podium.

A chance visit to New Orleans during spring break further determined the course of his life. He "fell in love with that old bag of bones of a city," he says, and after completing a doctorate in history, he began a30-year teaching career at the University of New Orleans. His first book Halleck, was published in 1962. It sold under 1,000 copies in its first printing, but caught the eye of one of Ambrose's heroes. The 28 year-old professor was amazed to receive a phone call from former President Dwight Eisenhower, who invited him to write his authorized biography.

For five years, Ambrose met regularly with the former President at Eisenhower's farm in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He enjoyed the cooperation of Eisenhower's friends and associates, and full access to his presidential papers. The two-volume biography that resulted remains the definitive work on the 34th President, and established Stephen Ambrose as one of America's foremost historians.

Ambrose briefly interrupted his career at New Orleans to accept an appointment at the University of Kansas, but the outspoken professor and his new employers gratefully parted company after Ambrose and his wife were criticized for heckling President Nixon during his visit to the Kansas campus. Ironically, one of Ambrose's most ambitious works in later years was a three-volume life of Nixon, in which the author found much to admire in the administration of a President he had deeply disliked at the time.

Ambrose's work attained unprecedented heights of popularity with his masterful account of the Lewis and Clark expedition, Undaunted Courage. This volume still sat atop the best-seller lists when it was joined by another work from Ambrose, Citizen Soldiers, the GI's view of World War II in Europe from D-Day to the surrender of Germany. His book on Lewis and Clark has stimulated renewed public interest in the history of the Missouri territory. Publication of Citizen Soldiers accompanied a massive renewal of public interest in the Second World War and the Americans who fought it; Ambrose served as historical consultant for Steven Spielberg's film about D-Day, Saving Private Ryan. Spielberg and Tom Hanks later produced a television miniseries based on Ambrose's Band of Brothers.

Stephen Ambrose Biography Photo

After retiring from his chair as Boyd Professor of History at the University of New Orleans, Dr. Ambrose served as the Director Emeritus of the Eisenhower Center, and the founder and President of the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans. He was a contributing editor for the Quarterly Journal of Military History, a member of the board of directors for American Rivers, and a member of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Council Board. Stephen Ambrose and his wife Moira made their homes in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi and Helena, Montana. In all, Ambrose wrote more than 30 books including Crazy Horse and Custer, Nothing Like It in the World, D-Day - June 6, 1944 and Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24's Over Germany.

This page last revised on Feb 01, 2005 14:44 EDT
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