Meier Schlesinger, Jr., (1917–2007) was an American historian, social critic,
and public intellectual. Specializing in American history, much of Schlesinger’s
work explored the history of twentieth-century American liberalism. In
particular, his work focused on leaders such as Harry Truman, Franklin D.
Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Robert F. Kennedy. A Pulitzer Prize winner,
Schlesinger served as special assistant and “court historian” to President
Kennedy from 1961 to 1963. He wrote a detailed account of the Kennedy
Administration, from the transition period to the president’s state funeral,
titled A Thousand Days. In 1968, Schlesinger actively supported the
presidential campaign of Senator Robert F. Kennedy, which ended with Kennedy’s
assassination in Los Angeles. Schlesinger wrote the popular biography Robert
Kennedy and His Times several years later. He later popularized the term “imperial
presidency” during the Nixon administration in his book of the same name. In 1967, he was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for History.