Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and journalist Kai Bird ’73 to present opening convocation

September 1, 2016

Kai Bird, Carleton Class of 1973, will be the featured speaker at the College’s annual all-college assembly celebrating the beginning of the 2016-2017 academic year. Opening Convocation will be held Monday September 12 at 3 p.m. in the Skinner Memorial Chapel, and will be preceded by the College’s traditional Academic Procession, including all current and emeriti faculty. This event is free and open to the public. Convocations are also recorded and archived online at go.carleton.edu/convo/

Bird is an elected member of the prestigious Society of American Historians and a contributing editor of The Nation. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for his best-selling biography, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (Knopf, 2005), which also won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography and the Duff Cooper Prize for History in London.

Bird’s most recent book, The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames (Crown, 2014), was also a New York Times best-seller. Bird has written acclaimed biographies of John J. McCloy, McGeorge Bundy, and William Bundy. He is currently working on a biography of President Jimmy Carter's White House years. Bird chronicled his childhood in the Middle East in his memoir, Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis, 1956-1978 (Scribner, 2010), which was a 2011 Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography.

Bird, who lives in Miami Beach, is the recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Alicia Patterson Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation’s writing fellowship, the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, the German Marshall Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation’s Study Center (Bellagio, Italy), and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, DC.

Bird earned a BA in history from Carleton College in 1973.

For more information about this event, including disability accommodations, contact the Carleton College Office of College Relations at (507) 222-4308. The Skinner Memorial Chapel is located on First Street between College and Winona Streets in Northfield.