Press Release: Robert A. Caro to Give Leon Levy Biography Lecture

The Leon Levy Center for Biography at the Graduate Center, City University of New York, has announced that Robert A. Caro, the award-winning biographer of Robert Moses and Lyndon Baines Johnson, will give the 2009 Leon Levy Biography Lecture.  Mr. Caro’s lecture, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Tuesday, September 29, beginning 7:00 p.m. at the Graduate Center, 365 Fifth Avenue at 34th Street.

Established by a generous gift from the Leon Levy Foundation, the Leon Levy Center for Biography selects a biographer of note each year to give the annual lecture. The lecturer speaks on the process of researching and writing a biography, with a focus on their current work in progress. Robert A. Caro is the author of The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York and The Years of Lyndon Johnson, comprised of three published volumes: The Path to Power, Means of Ascent, and Master of the Senate. Mr. Caro is at work on his fourth and final volume of The Years of Lyndon Johnson, an examination of Johnson’s time in the White House.

Together, Caro’s biographies of Moses and Johnson have garnered a number of honors, among them two Pulitzer Prizes for Biography, two National Book Critics Circle Awards for Best Nonfiction Book of the Year, the National Book Award, the Gold Medal in Biography from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Francis Parkman Prize, awarded by the Society of American Historians to the book that best “exemplifies the union of the historian and the artist.”

According to The Boston Globe, “Caro has a unique place among American political biographers. He has become, in many ways, the standard by which his fellows are measured.” In 2007, he was the Holtzbrinck Distinguished Visitor at the American Academy in Berlin. Caro was a Carnegie Fellow at Columbia University and a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University.

The Leon Levy Center for Biography announced the 2009-2010 Biography Fellows earlier this year. They are Wendy Lesser, Mary Lisa Gavenas, John Matteson, and Vanda Krefft.

The Leon Levy Center for Biography

The Leon Levy Center for Biography was established in 2008 at the CUNY Graduate Center by a gift from the Leon Levy Foundation. Envisioned as a hub for writers, scholars, students and readers of the genre, the Leon Levy Center for Biography commenced programming in the academic year beginning September 2008. The center seeks to build connections between university-affiliated and independent biographers working in print, film, visual arts, and new media across academic disciplines. The center is directed by acclaimed biographer David Nasaw, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., Chair in American History at the Graduate Center.

The Graduate Center

The Graduate Center is the primary doctorate-granting institution of the City University of New York (CUNY). The school offers more than 30 doctoral programs, as well as a number of master's programs. The Graduate Center is also home to more than 30 interdisciplinary research centers and institutes and offers an extensive array of public lectures, exhibitions, concerts, and theatrical events.  Further information on the Graduate Center and its programs can be found at

The Leon Levy Foundation

The Leon Levy Foundation, founded in 2004, is a private, not-for-profit foundation created from the estate of Leon Levy, a legendary investor with a longstanding commitment to philanthropy.  The Foundation's overarching goal is to continue the tradition of humanism characteristic of Mr. Levy by supporting scholarship at the highest level, ultimately advancing knowledge and improving the lives of individuals and society at large.

Submitted on: SEP 1, 2009

Category: Leon Levy Center for Biography | Press Room