Rick Atkinson

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Rick Atkinson, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author and military historian, is the winner of the 2015 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award.

Atkinson recently completed The Guns at Last Light: The War in Europe, 1944-1945, the final volume of his Liberation Trilogy, a narrative history of the U.S. military’s role in the liberation of Europe in World War II. The first volume, An Army at Dawn: The War in North Africa, 1942-1943, received the Pulitzer Prize and was acclaimed by The Wall Street Journal as “the best World War II battle narrative since Cornelius Ryan’s classics, The Longest Day and A Bridge Too Far.”

Atkinson served as a reporter, foreign correspondent and senior editor for 25 years at The Washington Post. His most recent assignments were covering the 101st Airborne Division during the invasion of Iraq, and writing about roadside bombs in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2007.

Atkinson also is the best-selling author of The Long Gray Line, a narrative saga about the West Point class of 1966, and Crusade, a narrative story of the Persian Gulf War. He also wrote In the Company of Soldiers, an account of his time with Gen. David H. Petraeus and the 101st Airborne Division during the invasion of Iraq in 2003; the New York Times Book Review called the book “the most intimate, vivid and well-informed account yet published” on that war, and Newsweek cited it as one of 10 best books of 2004. He is the lead essayist in Where Valor Rests: Arlington National Cemetery, published by National Geographic in 2007.

Atkinson’s many awards include the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for history; the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting; and the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for public service, awarded to The Washington Post for a series of investigative articles directed and edited by Atkinson on shootings by the District of Columbia police department. Atkinson has served as the Gen. Omar N. Bradley Chair of Strategic Leadership at the U.S. Army War College, where he remains an adjunct faculty member.

Born in Munich, Germany, Atkinson is the son of a U.S. Army officer and grew up on military posts. He holds a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Chicago. He and his wife, Dr. Jane C. Atkinson, a researcher and clinician at the National Institutes of Health, live in the District of Columbia. They have two grown children.

(Biographical information taken from Atkinson’s website: http://liberationtrilogy.com/rick-atkinson/)