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Biographer to deliver lecture

Story by Avery Gregurich

New York Times best-selling biographer Walter Isaacson will deliver the 32nd Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture tonight at the Knapp Center at 7:30 p.m.

His lecture is titled “The Genius of Jobs, Franklin and Einstein.”

Isaacson’s critically acclaimed biographies have featured Henry Kissinger, Benjamin Franklin, Albert Einstein and most recently, Steve Jobs, as subjects.

His first book, which he coauthored with Evan Thomas, “The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made,” published in 1986.

His next book “Kissinger: A Biography,” about former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, was published in 1992.

“Benjamin Franklin: An American Life,” and, “Einstein: His Life and Universe,” both garnered critical acclaim.

His latest book, “Steve Jobs,” was a New York Times best-seller.

In addition to being a biographer, Isaacson has worked as the chairman and CEO of CNN, as well as the editor of Time magazine.

Isaacson, 61, received his bachelor’s degree in history and literature from Harvard College in 1974.

He went on to become a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford.

His professional career began in the field of journalism, working first at The Sunday Times of London and then the New Orleans Times-Picayune/States-Item.

In 1978, Isaacson joined the staff of Time magazine.

He worked his way up from a political correspondent, to a national editor and eventually to the editor of new media.

In 1996, he became the magazine’s 14th editor.

Isaacson was made the chairman and CEO of CNN in 2001, a position he held for two years.

Since 2003, he has served as the president and CEO of The Aspen Institute in Washington DC. The Aspen Institute is a nonpartisan organization that focuses on educational and policy studies.

Isaacson has held several governmental positions and serves on various leadership boards.

Following Hurricane Katrina, Isaacson, a New Orleans native, served as the vice-chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. He was also appointed by President Obama to serve as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, managing such programs such as “Voice of America” and “Radio Free Europe.”

He works as chair emeritus of Teach for America, which enlists college graduates to teach in overlooked neighborhoods, and as vice-chair of Partners for a New Beginning, which strives to build relationships between the United States and Muslim world.

He serves on the leadership boards of United Airlines, Tulane University and the Overseers of Harvard University.

Isaacson lives in Washington D.C with his wife, Kathy, and their daughter.

The lecture, the final Bucksbaum lecture of the fall semester, begins at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the Knapp Center. It is free and open to the public.

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