The following is a modified submission by the Massachusetts Historical Society.
The recently presented Gordon S. Wood as the 11th recipient of the John F. Kennedy Medal - the highest honor given to someone who's rendered distinguished service to the cause of history
Wood, a Corresponding Fellow of the MHS since 2002 and the Alva O. Way University Professor at Brown University, was presented the medal as part of the Society’s Annual Meeting. In remarks to MHS Fellows and Members he spoke about the way in which history writing has divided between the academics who write for one another and the growing numbers of popular non-academic historians who write for the general reading public.
Over a long career, he has authored numerous books including Creation of the American Republic, 1776-1787, which won the Bancroft Prize and the John H. Dunning Prize in 1970, The Radicalism of the American Revolution, which won the Pulitzer Prize for History and the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize in 1993, and Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815, which won the American Publishers Association Prize for History and Biography in 2010. As well, he writes frequently for The New York Review of Books and The New Republic. In 2010, Wood was awarded with the National Humanities Medal “for scholarship that provides insight into the founding of the nation and the drafting of the U.S. Constitution.”
Wood received his B.A. degree from Tufts University and his A.M. and Ph.D. from Harvard University under MHS Trustee Emeritus and Fellow Bernard Bailyn.
MHS President Dennis Fiori remarked, “The Society has honored ten historians with the medal since its establishment shortly after President Kennedy’s death. As a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian with a long career of distinguished scholarship, it gives us particular pleasure to add Gordon Wood’s name to the list of recipients.”