Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Geoffrey C. Ward  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1940 in Newark, Ohio

-- Geoffrey C. Ward on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Ward grew up on the south side of Chicago and in New Delhi, India. He was senior picture editor at Encyclopedia Britannica in Chicago during the mid-1960s.

Biographical and Professional Information

Geoffrey C. Ward is an editor, author, biographer, historian and writer of scripts for American history documentaries for public television. He is the winner of seven Emmy Awards.Ward has collaborated with Ken Burns since 1984 and has been the sole or principal script writer for Huey Long; Statue of Liberty; Thomas Hart Benton; The Civil War; Empire of the Air: The Men Who Made Radio; Baseball; The West; Thomas Jefferson; Frank Lloyd Wright; Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony; Jazz; Mark Twain; Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, and The War. Ward also wrote or co-wrote companion volumes for seven of these series. He was the principal or sole writer of Nixon; Lindbergh; Reminiscing in Tempo; The Kennedys; The Last Boss; TR; and Abraham and Mary Lincoln: A House Divided - all part of PBS’s “American Experience” series. For his work in documentary films, Ward has won two Writers’ Guild Awards, seven Christopher Awards and six Emmys.Today, Geoffrey Ward lives in New York City with his wife, writer Diane Raines Ward.

Published Works

  • Lincoln’s Thought and the Present: Lincoln and the Law, Lincoln and His Family, Lincoln and the Right to Rise, Lincoln and His Legend, Lincoln and the Union, Sangamon State University, 1976
  • Treasures of the World: The Maharajas, Time/Life, New York, 1983
  • Before the Trumpet: Young Franklin Roosevelt, 1882-1905, HarperCollins, 1985
  • A First Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt, Harper & Row, 1989
  • The Civil War: An Illustrated History, Alfred A. Knopf, 1990 - written with Ric and Ken Burns; based upon PBS television series
  • American Originals: The Private Worlds of Some Singular Men and Women 1991, HarperCollins
  • Tiger-Wallahs: Encounters with the Men Who Tried to Save the Greatest of the Cats HarperCollins, 1993 - written with Diane Raines Ward
  • Baseball: An Illustrated History, Alfred A. Knopf, 1994 - written with Ken Burns
  • Closest Companion: The Unknown Story of the Intimate Friendship Between Franklin D. Roosevelt and Margaret Suckley, Houghton Mifflin, 1995
  • The West: An Illustrated History, Little, Brown & Co, 1997
  • Year of the Tiger, National Geographic Books, 1998 - written with Michael Nichols
  • Not For Ourselves Alone: The Story of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, Alfred A. Knopf, 1999 - written with Ken Burns
  • Jazz: A History of America’s Music, Alfred A. Knopf, 2000 - written with Ken Burns
  • Mark Twain, Alfred A. Knopf, 2001 - written with Dayton Duncan
  • Unforgivable Blackness: The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson, Alfred A. Knopf, 2004
  • The War: An Intimate History, Alfred A. Knopf, 2007 - written with Ken Burns
  • Moving to Higher Ground: How Jazz Can Change Your Life, Random House, 2008 - written with Wynton Marsalis
  • A Disposition to be Rich: How a Small-Town Pastor’s Son Ruined an American President, Brought on a Wall Street Crash and Made Himself the Best-Hated Man in the United States, Alfred A. Knopf, 2
  • A First-Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt, 1882 - 1905, Vintage, 2014

Selected Titles At Your Library

The Maharajas /
ISBN: 0867060492. OCLC Number:

Stonehenge,. [Chicago, Ill.] :. [©1983]

Text and lavish photographs present the art and treasures of the Maharajas of India.

Before the trumpet :
ISBN: 0060154519. OCLC Number:

Harper & Row,. New York :. ©1985.

An intimate portrait of the uncommon family, early years and private world of the man who became FDR.

A first-class temperament :
ISBN: 0804173354. OCLC Number:

. .

The Civil War /
ISBN: 0679755438. OCLC Number:

Vintage Books,. New York :. 1994, ©1990.

Provides a history of the Civil War based on the PBS television series "The Civil War," with maps and text which interweave the author's narrative with the voices of the men and women who lived through the war; and includes essays by historians of the era.

American originals :
ISBN: 0060922397. OCLC Number:

HarperPerennial,. New York, N.Y. :. 1992.

Tiger-Wallahs :
ISBN: 0060167955. OCLC Number:

. .

For many years historian and screenwriter Geoffrey C. Ward, who grew up in India, has returned to visit the Indian jungles, drawn by their beauty and by the mystery and power of the great endangered predator that has always ruled them - the tiger. In this intensely personal, richly illustrated book, containing seventy-five rare photographs, most of them in color and made in the field by the finest nature photographers, he evokes the special appeal of India's forests. He describes his encounters with some of the tiger-wallahs - tiger-men - who have struggled against overwhelming odds to save the species from extinction: Jim Corbett, the great destroyer of man-eaters, who became a still greater conservationist; Billy Arjan Singh, the Spartan farmer who despises hunters and hunting, tried to return a tigress to the wild, and, all alone, carved out a national park; Fateh Singh Rathore, the uninhibited Rajput who cheerfully risked his life defending the jungles in his charge; and Valmik Thapar, the son of New Delhi intellectuals, who began as Fateh's disciple, became an authority in his own right, and now champions a new kind of conservation that may provide the tiger's only hope. Tiger-Wallahs is both a book about a magnificent animal and its ablest defenders, and an evocative farewell to a species that now seems doomed by shrinking habitats and a soaring international trade in tiger bones to vanish from the wild before the century's end.

Baseball :
ISBN: 037571197X. OCLC Number:

Alfred A. Knopf,. New York :. 2010.

A moving and fascinating history of the game of baseball. Goes beyond the stolen bases and home runs to demonstrate how baseball has been influenced by, and has in turn influenced, American life.

Closest companion :
ISBN: 1439103143. OCLC Number:

Simon & Schuster Paperbacks,. New York :. 2009, ©1995.

The West :
ISBN: 0316922366. OCLC Number:

Little, Brown,. Boston :. ©1996.

Focuses chiefly on the 19th century which is the period that defined the American West in popular imagination.

The year of the tiger /
ISBN: 079227377X. OCLC Number:

. .

A pictorial essay; more than 100 full color photos.

Not for ourselves alone :
ISBN: 0375405607. OCLC Number:

A.A. Knopf,. New York :. 1999.

Meet important historical personalities, scientists, aviators, and athletes in this series that illustrate the impact dynamic leaders have on society. These books are sure to inspire young readers as they learn about the lives of famous people. Each book includes a timeline of important dates, a glossary, and an index. Included in the back of each book are additional resources such as At the Library, On the Web, On the Road, and Did you Know? that are filled with interesting facts.

Jazz :
ISBN: 067944551X. OCLC Number:

Alfred A. Knopf,. New York :. 2000.

Traces the history of jazz music from its origins in New Orleans through the twentieth century, and looks at the lives and contributions of some of the genre's greatest composers and performers.

Mark Twain /
ISBN: 0375405615. OCLC Number:

. .

Integrating material from his literary works, diaries, and letters, this illustrated portrait of one of America's greatest writers follows Twain from his childhood, through his travels throughout the world, to his career as a journalist and author.

Unforgivable blackness :
ISBN: 0375710043. OCLC Number:

A.A. Knopf,. New York :. 2004.

Prizewinning biographer Geoffrey C. Ward brings to life the real Jack Johnson, a figure far more complex and compelling than the newspaper headlines he inspired could ever convey. Johnson battled his way from obscurity to the top of the heavyweight ranks and in 1908 won the greatest prize in American sports--one that had always been the private preserve of white boxers. At a time when whites ran everything in America, he took orders from no one and resolved to live as if color did not exist. While most blacks struggled just to survive, he reveled in his riches and his fame. And at a time when the mere suspicion that a black man had flirted with a white woman could cost him his life, he insisted on sleeping with whomever he pleased, and married three. Because he did so the federal government set out to destroy him, and he was forced to endure a year of prison and seven years of exile. Ward points out that to most whites (and to some African Americans as well) he was seen as a perpetual threat--profligate, arrogant, amoral, a dark menace, and a danger to the natural order of things.--From publisher description.

The war :
ISBN: 0307262839. OCLC Number:

A.A. Knopf,. New York :. 2007.

As companion to the PBS series airing in September 2007, "The War" focuses on the citizens of four towns--Luverne, Minnesota; Sacramento, California; Waterbury, Connecticut; Mobile, Alabama, following more than forty people from 1941 to 1945. Maps and hundreds of photographs enrich this compelling, unflinching narrative.

A first-class temperament :
ISBN: 0804173354. OCLC Number:

. .


A First-Class Temperament

Speaking Engagements

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