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Ron Chernow

Ron Chernow
Born (1949-03-03) March 3, 1949
Brooklyn, New York
Occupation Writer, journalist, historian, biographer
Language English
Nationality American
Education English literature
Alma mater Yale University
Cambridge University
Subject Historical biographies
Notable works The House of Morgan
Washington: A Life
Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
Notable awards

Literature portal

Ronald Chernow (born March 3, 1949) is an American writer, journalist, historian, and biographer. He has written bestselling and award-winning biographies of historical figures from the world of business, finance, and American politics.

Historian Andrew Cayton says, "Chernow is no ordinary writer. Like his popular biographies of John D. Rockefeller and Alexander Hamilton, his Washington while long, is vivid and well paced. If Chernow's sense of historical context is sometimes superficial, his understanding of psychology is acute and his portraits of individuals memorable."[1]

He won the

  • Ron Chernow at the Internet Movie Database
  • Ron Chernow at Penguin Group website
  • The Founding Fathers Versus the Tea Party by Ron Chernow
  • Appearances on C-SPAN
    • , June 21, 1998Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. interview with Chernow on Booknotes
    • , October 3, 2010Washington: A Life interview with Chernow on Q&APart one of C-SPAN
    • , October 10, 2010Washington: A Life interview with Chernow on Q&APart two of C-SPAN

External links

  • "Ron Chernow" in Contemporary Authors Online (Gale, 2011)

Further reading

  1. ^ Andrew Cayton, review of Washington, New York Times Book Review, October 3, 2010, p. 21 cited in Gale (2011)
  2. ^ a b c "1990 National Book Awards Winners and Finalists, The National Book Foundation". Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  3. ^ a b "Ron Chernow" in Contemporary Authors Online (Gale, 2011)
  4. ^ Chernow, Ron (2010-09-23). "The Founding Fathers Versus the Tea Party". The New York Times. 
  5. ^ "Book Reviews: Book Review of The House of Morgan:, by Ron Chernow". Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  6. ^ Garten, Jeffrey E. (1990-03-18). "Their Street Was Paved With Gold - New York Times". Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  7. ^ a b "Honored Patricia Barbizet, Corinne Mentzelopoulos and Ron Chernow". Humanity in Action. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  8. ^ Morrow, Lance (1998-06-15). "Books: John D. Rockefeller: Oil In The Family". TIME. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  9. ^ a b c "National Book Critics Circle: awards". Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  10. ^ a b "George Washington Book Prize".  
  11. ^ Presser, Stephen B. (June 2006). "Review of Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton", Journal of American History, pages 192–193
  12. ^ a b Richard Ellmann. "The Pulitzer Prizes | Biography or Autobiography". Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  13. ^ a b "The Pulitzer Prizes | Citation". 2012-12-13. Retrieved 2012-12-30. 
  14. ^ a b Bosman, Julie (2011-03-04). "ARTS, BRIEFLY - Ron Chernow Wins Prize For Biography - Web Log -". New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-30. 
  15. ^ "The Real Washington at Last by Gordon S. Wood | The New York Review of Books". 2010-12-09. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  16. ^ "Chernow to write about Ulysses S. Grant | The Book Case". 2011-04-27. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  17. ^ "Chernow channels George Washington at the Kimmel — NewsWorks". 2011-09-26. Retrieved 2013-06-20. 
  18. ^ "Chernow Succeeds Rushdie as President of PEN American Center | Daily News | Poets & Writers". Retrieved 2013-06-20. 


  • 1996:
  • 2000: The American Experience, "The Rockefellers: Part 1" (documentary), as advisor
  • 2000: The American Experience, "The Rockefellers: Part 2" (documentary), as advisor
  • 2007: The American Experience, "Alexander Hamilton" (documentary), as advisor
  • 2010: Tavis Smiley, "October 12, 2010 episode" (talk show), as guest
  • 2010: Rediscovering Alexander Hamilton (documentary), as himself/historian


  • Chernow, Ron (1990). The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance
  • Chernow, Ron (1994). The Warburgs: The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of a Remarkable Jewish Family, New York: Random House
  • Chernow, Ron (1997). The Death of the Banker: The Decline and Fall of the Great Financial Dynasties and the Triumph of the Small Investor
  • Chernow, Ron (1998). Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.
  • Chernow, Ron (2004). Alexander Hamilton
  • Chernow, Ron (2010). Washington: A Life

Published works

Honors and awards

In 1990, Chernow became a member of the PEN American Center. In 2006, he was named as the President of the Board of Trustees, succeeding novelist Salman Rushdie.[18] As of 2012, he serves as a member of the executive board of the Society of American Historians.[7]

Board memberships

In 2011, Chernow signed a deal to write a comprehensive biography on [17]

Ulysses S. Grant
"The best, most comprehensive, and most balanced single-volume biography of Washington ever written... One comes away from the book feeling that Washington has finally become comprehensible... [Chernow's] understanding of human nature is extraordinary and that is what makes his biography so powerful."

Chernow's 904-page Washington: A Life was released on October 5, 2010 (ISBN 978-1594202667). It won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography[12][13] and the American History Book Prize.[14] Professor Gordon S. Wood, renowned scholar of the Founding era, wrote:[15]

George Washington

The biography was adapted into a musical, Hamilton, by Lin-Manuel Miranda, which opened on Broadway in August 2015. Chernow served as historical consultant to the production.

"This book is one of those happy rarities: a popular biography that should also delight scholars....This is the kind of synthetic narrative history and biography that is rarely done to such high standards and is clearly one of the best introductions to the American formative era available. Moreover, the way Chernow integrates international affairs, domestic politics, economic and constitutional theory, and astute psychological analysis is nothing short of wondrous."[11]

wrote: Northwestern University, Stephen B. Presser, who is a member of the faculty of Journal of American History It remained on "The New York Times Best Seller list" for three months. In his review for the [10] In

Alexander Hamilton

American politics

In 1998, Chernow published Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr., which was selected by Time Magazine and The New York Times as one of the year's ten best books. Rockefeller was a prominent figure in American business. He was an industrialist, philanthropist, and the founder of the Standard Oil Company. The book reflected Chernow's continued interest in financial history, especially when shaped by compelling and influential individuals. The book remained on "The New York Times Best Seller list" for 16 weeks. Time Magazine both named the book as "one of the great American biographies".[8]

The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr.

Chernow's 1997 collection of essays, The Death of the Banker, touched upon his earlier writings and chronicled "the decline and fall of the great financial dynasties and the triumph of the small investor".

The Death of the Banker

In 1993, Chernow published The Warburgs: The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of a Remarkable Jewish Family, which is an account of the American Library Association[7] and a Notable Book by The New York Times.

The Warburgs

In 1990, Chernow published his first book, The House of Morgan: An American Banking Dynasty and the Rise of Modern Finance, which traces the history of four generations of the National Book Award for Nonfiction.[2]

The House of Morgan

Business and finance

Chernow began his career as a freelance journalist. He wrote more than 60 articles in national newspapers and magazines from 1973 to 1982. In the mid-1980s, he put his writing pursuits aside when he began serving as the director of financial policy studies with the The New York Times[4] and The Wall Street Journal. He has also provided commentary on business, politics, and finance on national radio and television shows, while additionally appearing as an expert in documentary films.

Professional background

He has received honorary degrees from Long Island University, Marymount Manhattan College, Hamilton College, Washington College, and Skidmore College.[3]

He married Valerie S. Chernow in 1979; she died in 2006.

Ronald Chernow was born on March 3, 1949, in Brooklyn, New York. His father Israel was the owner of a discount store and creator of a stock brokerage firm; his mother Ruth was a bookkeeper. Chernow graduated with honors from Yale College (B.A. (summa cum laude), 1970) and Cambridge University (M.Phil., 1972 with degrees in English literature). He began but did not finish a PhD program. He says that in politics he is a "Disgruntled Democrat" and gives his religion as "Jewish, though more in the breach than the observance."[3]

Personal background


  • Personal background 1
  • Professional background 2
    • Business and finance 2.1
    • American politics 2.2
  • Board memberships 3
  • Honors and awards 4
  • Published works 5
  • Filmography 6
  • References 7
  • Further reading 8
  • External links 9

George S. Eccles Prize for Excellence in Economic Writing. As a freelance journalist, he has written over 60 articles in national publications. 1993 was honored with the The Warburgs: The Twentieth-Century Odyssey of a Remarkable Jewish Family, while National Book Critics Circle Awards were both nominated for John D. Rockefeller and Alexander Hamilton His biographies about [2]

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