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David Gaub McCullough (born July 7, 1933)


McCullough is an American author, narrator, historian, and lecturer. He is a two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States' highest civilian award.


McCullough was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the son of Ruth (née Rankin) and Christian Hax McCullough. He is of Scotch-Irish descent. He was educated at Linden Avenue Grade School and Shady Side Academy, in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. One of four sons, McCullough had a "marvelous" childhood with a wide range of interests, including sports and drawing cartoons.McCullough's parents and his grandmother, who read to him often, introduced him to books at an early age. His parents talked openly about history, a topic he feels should be discussed more often.

McCullough "loved school, every day"; he contemplated many career choices ranging from architect, actor, painter, writer, lawyer, and even attending medical school.


In 1951, McCullough began attending Yale University. He believed that it was a "privilege" to study English at Yale because of faculty members such as John O'Hara, John Hersey, Robert Penn Warren, and Brendan Gill.


McCullough occasionally ate lunch with Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and playwright Thornton Wilder. Wilder, says McCullough, taught him that a competent writer maintains "an air of freedom" in the storyline, so that a reader won't anticipate the outcome, even if the book happens to be non-fiction.


While at Yale, he became a member of Skull and Bones. He served apprenticeships at Time, Life, the United States Information Agency, and American Heritage. Where he found enjoyment in research. "Once I discovered the endless fascination of doing the research and of doing the writing, I knew I had found what I wanted to do in my life." While attending Yale, McCullough studied Arts and achieved his Bachelor's degree in English, with the intention of becoming a fiction writer or playwright. He graduated with honors in English literature (1955).


His first book was The Johnstown Flood (1968); and he has since written eight more on such topics as Harry S Truman, John Adams, and the Brooklyn Bridge. McCullough has also narrated multiple documentaries, as well as the 2003 film Seabiscuit; and he hosted American Experience for twelve years. McCullough's two Pulitzer Prize-winning books, Truman and John Adams, have been adapted by HBO into a TV film and a mini-series, respectively. McCullough's most recent work, The Greater Journey, about Americans in Paris from the 1830s to the 1900s, was released on May 24, 2011.


Title Year Awards
The Johnstown Flood 1968
The Great Bridge 1972
The Path Between the Seas
1977 National Book Award – 1978
Francis Parkman Prize – 1978
Samuel Eliot Morison Award – 1978
Cornelius Ryan Award – 1978
Mornings on Horseback 1981 National Book Award – 1982
Brave Companions
1992
Truman
1992 Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography – 1993
The Colonial Dames of America Annual Book Award – 1993
John Adams
2001 Pulitzer Prize – 2002
1776
2005 American Compass Best Book – 2005
In the Dark Streets Shineth: A 1941 Christmas Eve Story 2010 The Greater Journey
The Greater Journey 2011