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Robert Watson      

Historian, Author, Professor, Political Commentator, Community Leader

Robert Watson is an award-winning author who has published over 40 books and hundreds of scholarly articles, chapters, and essays on topics in history and politics. His recent books include Affairs of State (2012), America’s First Crisis (2014),The Presidents’ Wives, 2nd edition (2014), The Nazi Titanic (2016), and The Ghost Ship of Brooklyn (2017).

A frequent media commentator, he has been interviewed thousands of times by media outlets around the country and world, including CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, USA Today, The New York Times, NPR, and the BBC, and has appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, C-SPAN’s Book TV, The Washington Journal, and The Voice of America. For many years, Watson served as a Sunday columnist for the Sun-Sentinel newspaper, political analyst for WPTV 5 (NBC), and regular guest on WPBT 2 (PBS) and several news radio stations in the U.S. and abroad.

Dr. Watson co-convened a half-dozen national conferences on the American presidency, co-founded the annual Truman Legacy Symposium held at the Harry S. Truman Little White House (sponsored by the Truman Presidential Library), and has served as a visiting fellow or scholar with dozens of noted organizations including the Truman Presidential Library, Gerald Ford Presidential Museum, Illinois Holocaust Museum, US Military Academy at West Point, and the South Dakota Humanities Council. He has also served as an editor and board member for numerous scholarly journals, the series editor for the long-running American presidency book series published by the State University of New York, the editor of the popular, multi-edition encyclopedia sets The American Presidents and American First Ladies, and a board member with numerous academic associations, community groups, and the Harry S. Truman Foundation, Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation, and George McGovern Center for Leadership and Public Service.

As a community leader and volunteer, Watson has long been active in an array of initiatives, hosting hundreds of voter registration drives, mock elections and civic education programs for schools, workshops for social studies teachers, community town halls, and serving as both a judge for History Day contests and spelling bees and moderator for political debates. He co-founded three non-profits dedicated to civic engagement, grassroots political reform, and fact-checking political ads and, with his teenage son, hosts an annual writing contest for K-12 students called “Let’s Write Together.” Watson has also delivered over 2,000 lectures to civic and professional groups, libraries, historic sites, and corporate retreats around the world, is a popular lecturer on luxury cruise ships and for One Day University, and has led study tours to historical sites around the country and internationally.

He is the recipient of numerous awards for his contributions to the study of the presidency, the civics programs he offers to schools, his election commentary, and community service. He has also won several teaching excellence awards including Outstanding Professor of the Year at Florida Atlantic University and Lynn University (three times) and the Faculty Service Award at Florida Atlantic University (twice) and Lynn University, and has been inducted into two sports halls of fame.

Robert was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, attended public schools in nearby Hershey, and was educated at Virginia Tech, where he was a member of the football and track teams. Robert and his wife, Claudia, reside in Boca Raton with their children, Alessandro and Isabella. Watson is Professor of American Studies at Lynn University and Senior Fellow at the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship.

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