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Wichita, Kansas ties of Jim Lehrer
Jim Lehrer

Jim Lehrer

superoh johnnyeurekaphony marine

flying crows

special prisonerwhite widow

last debateviva max!


Born in Wichita, Kansas, in 1934, Jim Lehrer received an A.A. degree from Victoria College and a B.J. in 1956 from the University of Missouri before joining the Marine Corps.

He is the news anchor for PBS News Hour. He has also served as moderator for several U.S. Presidential debates, including during the 2000 election year between George W. Bush and then Vice-President Al Gore.

Lehrer is also an acclaimed author, writing both non-fiction and fiction which draws on his life experiences and his interests in history and politics. He lives in Washington, D.C. Lehrer and his wife, Kate, have been married since 1960. They have three daughters - Amanda, Lucy and Jamie - and six grandchildren.

Lehrer is the author of 20 novels, two memoirs and three plays.  His latest novel, Super, was published in April 2010 and is a story of celebrity and murder aboard the Sante Fe’s railroad’s famous Super Chief, known as “The Train of the Stars,” during Hollywood’s heyday.  His next book, a non-fiction work about the presidential debates, titled Tension City, will be published by Random House in September 2011.  Oh Johnny, published in April 2009, is a portrait of a young man’s coming of age during World War II. Mack to the Rescue, published in April 2008, is the 7th in his successful series of novels featuring a fictional lieutenant governor of Oklahoma.  Eureka, published in October 2007, is an endearing portrait of American middle age.  The Phony Marine, published in November 2006, explores questions of character and heroism. The Franklin Affair, published in April 2005, explores the world of historians and the quest for truth and justice. No Certain Rest, published in August 2002, wrestles with a Civil War mystery.  Other novels include The Special Prisoner, about World War II POW; White Widow, about a Trailways bus driver in the 1950’s; two, Blue Hearts and Purple Dots, are about the adventures of retired C.I.A. agents; The Last Debate, a cautionary tale about journalism, politics and ethics, was also produced as a movie for the Showtime Channel in 2000. And Lehrer’s first novel, Viva Max!, the story of a platoon of modern Mexican soldiers who attempt to re-take the Alamo, was made into a 1969 comedy starring Jonathan Winters and Peter Ustinov. The plays are “Chili Queen,” “Church Key Charlie Blue” and “The Will and Bart Show.” The memoirs are We Were Dreamers and A Bus of My Own.

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Bibliography ( - housed in Thomas Fox Averill Kansas Studies Collection)  

Novels (One-Eyed Mack Series):

Novels (Charlie Henderson Series):

Novels (Stand-alone):



  • White Widow screenplay is currently being written by Luke Wilson
  • Viva Max! (1970) writing credit with Elliott Baker


  • The Will and Bart Show
  • Church Key Charlie Blue
  • Chili Queen
  • Bell

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Honors & Awards  


  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences Fellow (1991)
  • University of Missouri School of Journalism's Medal of Honor
  • William Allen White Foundation Award for Journalistic Merit
  • George Foster Peabody Award
  • Fred Friendly First Amendment Award
  • Emmy Award
  • National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle (1999)
  • Television Hall of Fame (1999)
  • National Humanities Medal (1999)

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Jim Lehrer on YouTube

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