Ward, Geoffrey

Born: 1940

Ohio connection: Birth


Geoffrey Champion Ward, son of Frederick Champion and Duira Rachel (Baldinger) Ward, was born in 1940 in Newark, Ohio. He received a B.A. from Oberlin College in 1962. That same year, he was married to Diane Raines Keim, and they had two children, Nathan and Kelly. They were later divorced. Ward’s career began in 1964 with a position as senior picture editor for Encyclopaedia Britannica in Chicago. In 1965, he moved to the office in New York City. He also worked for Reader’s Digest in 1968-69. He was a freelance writer from 1973 until 1975. He worked for American Heritage in New York from 1976 until 1994 as managing editor, editor, and columnist. He was co-founder of two journals, Contemporary Photographer and Audience. Ward has been a freelance writer as well as a creative consultant and scriptwriter for television specials from 1982 until the present. He is probably best known for his collaboration with Ken Burns on the script for the PBS documentary series The Civil War. Some of his other PBS scripts were for The Statue of Liberty; Nixon; Lindbergh; Duke Ellington: Reminiscing the Tempo; The Kennedys; Baseball (with Ken Burns); and Frank Lloyd Wright (with Burns). Ward is the author of numerous books, including Lincoln’s Thought and the Present; Before the Trumpet: Young Franklin Roosevelt; and Financing America: A Pictorial History of Banking. Numerous book companions to the PBS documentaries have also been published. Ward has written articles for many periodicals, including American Libraries, Audubon, Economist, Entertainment Weekly, Forbes, National Review, Newsweek, New Yorker, and Variety. Geoffrey Ward lives and works in New York City.


Christopher awards, film script, 1987, for The Statue of Liberty, and 1991, for The Civil War; “Tiger in the Road” was included in The Best American Essays of 1987; National Book Critics Circle award, 1989, Francis Parkman Prize, Society of American Historians, 1990, and Los Angeles Times Book Prize for biography, 1990, all for A First-Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt; Writers Guild award for Nixon; Emmy awards for The Civil War, The Kennedys, Baseball, and Theodore Roosevelt.