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Harold Holzer (born February 5, 1949) is a scholar of Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the American Civil War Era. He served for nine years as co-chairman of the United States Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission (ALBC), appointed to the commission by President Bill Clinton in 2000 and elected co-chair by his fellow commissioners. In June 2001 he was elected chairman of the ALBC's successor organization, The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation. In his full-time professional career, he serves as Senior Vice President for External Affairs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where he is responsible for marketing, communications, government relations, internal communications, admissions, visitor services, and multicultural audience development at the nation's largest art institution.

In his work as a historian, Holzer has authored, co-authored, and edited 36 books, as well as more than 440 articles for magazines and journals, plus chapters and forewords for 40 additional books. He is a frequent guest on television (C-Span, PBS, A&E, The History Channel, most recently on "Bill Moyers Journal" and bicentennial year documentaries on a variety of networks), lectures, and has curated five museum exhibitions of original art, including three shows of Lincoln art at the former Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He served as chief historian for the exhibition "Lincoln and New York" at the New-York Historical Society, October 2009-March 2010. He has performed, throughout the nation, stage programs entitled "Lincoln Seen and Heard," "The Lincoln Family Album" and "Lincoln in American Memory"--combining period pictures with authentic words—with such actors as Sam Waterston, Liam Neeson, Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, and Dianne Wiest. The programs have been staged at such venues as: the White House, the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library, The William J. Clinton Presidential Library, Lincoln Center in New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, the Lincoln Association of Los Angeles, The Lincoln Forum at Gettysburg, and Ford's Theatre, site of the Lincoln assassination.

Before joining the Metropolitan Museum in 1992, Holzer was special counselor to the New York State economic development director in the administration of Governor Mario M. Cuomo (with whom he co-edited the 1993 book, "Lincoln on Democracy," which has now been translated into four languages). Before that, he was director of communications at WNET/Channel 13, the flagship PBS station in New York, and in the 1970s, served as a political press secretary—first to Rep. Bella S. Abzug (D-NY) in Congress and in her campaigns for the U. S. Senate and Mayor of New York; and in the 1977 general election mayoral campaign of Mr. Cuomo. Holzer started his career as a reporter, later editor, for the onetime news weekly the "Manhattan Tribune."

In 2008, Holzer received the National Humanities Medal from President Bush and the National Endowment for the Humanities[1] and The Lincoln Medal of Honor from the Lincoln Society of Springfield, Illinois. He also won a second-place 2005 Lincoln Prize (for "Lincoln at Cooper Union")[2]. For his recent book "Lincoln President-Elect," Holzer received awards from The Lincoln Group of New York, The Civil War Round Table of New York, and The Illinois State Historical Society. He has also won lifetime achievement awards from The Civil War Round Tables of New York and Chicago, and Lincoln groups in Washington and New York.


  • 1984- The Lincoln Image: Abraham Lincoln and the Popular Print with Mark E. Neely, Jr. and Gabor S. Boritt
  • 1985- Changing the Lincoln Image with Neely and Boritt
  • 1987- The Confederate Image: Prints of the Lost Cause with Neely and Boritt
  • 1990- Lincoln on Democracy, coedited with Mario M. Cuomo)
  • 1990- The Lincoln Family Album with Neely
  • 1993- Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: The Civil War in Art with Neely
  • 1993- The Lincoln-Douglas Debates: The First Complete, Unexpurgated Text
  • 1993- Washington and Lincoln Portrayed: National Icons in Popular Prints
  • 1993- Dear Mr. Lincoln: Letters to the President
  • 1996- Witness to War
  • 1996- The Civil War Era
  • 1998- The Lincoln Mailbag: America Writes to the President
  • 1999- The Union Preserved with Daniel Lorello
  • 1999- The Lincoln Forum: Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg, and the Civil War (co-edited with John Y. Simon and William Pederson)
  • 1999- Lincoln as I Knew Him: Gossip, Tributes, and Revelations from His Best Friends and Worst Enemies
  • 2000- The Union Image: Prints of the Civil War North with Neely
  • 2000- Lincoln Seen and Heard
  • 2000- Abraham Lincoln, The Writer (named to the Children's Literature Choice List, and the Bank Street "Best Children's Books of the Year")
  • 2001- Prang's Civil War: The Complete Battle Chromos of Louis Prang
  • 2002- State of the Union: New York and the Civil War
  • 2002- The Lincoln Forum: Rediscovering Abraham Lincoln (co-edited with John Y. Simon)
  • 2004- The President is Shot! The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
  • 2004- Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech That Made Abraham Lincoln President
  • 2005- Lincoln in the Times: The Life of Abraham Lincoln as Originally Reported in the New York Times (co-edited with David Herbert Donald, St. Martin's Press)
  • 2006- The Battle of Hampton Roads (co-edited with Tim Mulligan)
  • 2006- The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views, with Edna Greene Medford and Frank J. Williams
  • 2006- Lincoln Portrayed: In the Collections of the Indiana Historical Society
  • 2007- Lincoln Revisited (co-edited with Simon and Dawn Vogel)
  • 2007- Lincoln and Freedom (co-edited with Sarah Vaughn Gabbard)
  • 2007- Lincoln's White House Secretary: The Adventurous Life of William O. Stoddard
  • 2008- Lincoln President-Elect: Abraham Lincoln and the Great Secession Winter, 1860-1861
  • 2008- Six Months at the White House with Abraham Lincoln, Introduction
  • 2009- The Lincoln Anthology: Great Writers on His Life and Legacy from 1860 to Now
  • 2009- In Lincoln's Hand: His Original Manuscripts with Commentary by Distinguished Americans.
  • 2009- The Lincoln Assassination Conspirators: Their Confinement and Execution, as Recorded in the Letterbook of John Frederick Hartranft (co-edited with Edward Steers, Jr.)
  • 2009- Lincoln and New York
  • 2010- The Lincoln Assassination: Crime & Punishment, Myth & Memory (co-edited with Craig L. Symonds and Frank J. Williams)


  • 1984, 1990, 1993, 2005, 2009- Barondess Award of the Civil War Round Table of New York
  • 1988- Diploma of Honor from Lincoln Memorial University
  • 1988, 1993, 2004, 2009- Award of Achievement from the Lincoln Group of New York
  • 1988- George Washington Medal from the Freedom Foundation
  • 1989- Writer of Distinction Award from the International Reading Association
  • 1992- Honorary Doctorate in Humane Letters from Lincoln College
  • 1993- Award of Superior Achievement from the Illinois State Historical Society
  • 1996- Manuscript Society of America award for Dear Mr. Lincoln
  • 2000- Newman Book Award of the American Historical Print Collectors Society for The Union Image
  • 2002- Nevins-Freeman Award of The Civil War Round Table of Chicago
  • 2006- Honorary degrees by Illinois College and University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth
  • 2006- The Lincoln Group of The District of Columbia's annual award of achievement
  • 2008- The Bell I. Wiley Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the Civil War Round Table of NY
  • 2008- The National Humanities Medal from President George W. Bush
  • 2009- Honorary Degree (Doctor of Humane Letters) from Bard College
  • 2009- President's Medal from Queens College, CUNY


A frequent guest on television, Holzer has appeared on C-SPAN's Washington Journal and its 2009 documentary special on The White House on The History Channel, PBS, The Today Show, Bill Moyers Journal, CBS Sunday Morning, Morning Joe, The Lou Dobbs Show, and The Charlie Rose Show.[3] C-SPAN broadcasted Holzer's stage presentation "Lincoln Seen and Heard" with Sam Waterston and "Grant Seen and Heard" with Richard Dreyfuss. In February 2005, President and Mrs. Bush hosted a special Lincoln's birthday-eve performance of "Lincoln Seen and Heard" telecast live from the White House.[4]. During the Lincoln bicentennial, he appeared on such documentaries as "Stealing Lincoln's Body," "The Lincoln Assassination," "Looking for Lincoln," and "Lincoln: American Mastermind."


  1. 2008 National Humanities Medalists, National Endowment for the Humanities, 2008, Accessed February 4, 2009
  2. [ Civil War Institute at Gettysburg College - List of Past Lincoln Prize Winners
  3. Harold Holzer - Charlie Rose
  4. President, Mrs. Bush Honor "Lincoln: Seen and Heard" Performance

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