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James MacGregor Burns facts for kids

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James MacGregor Burns (August 3, 1918 – July 15, 2014) was an American historian and political scientist, presidential biographer, and authority on leadership studies. He was the Woodrow Wilson Professor of Government Emeritus at Williams College and Distinguished Leadership Scholar at the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, College Park. He was notable for writing books about Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Burns was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He was raised in Burlington, Massachusetts. Burns studied at Lexington High School in Lexington, Massachusetts and at Williams College.

In 1971, Burns received the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in History and Biography for his work on America's 32nd president, Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom.

Burns died in Williamstown, Massachusetts on July 15, 2014, aged 95.


  • Government by the People (textbook, 21 editions) (Prentice-Hall, 1952–present).
  • Roosevelt: The Lion and the Fox (Harcourt, Brace, 1956).
  • John Kennedy: A Political Profile (Harcourt, Brace, 1960).
  • The Deadlock of Democracy: Four-Party Politics in America (Prentice Hall, 1963).
  • Roosevelt: The Soldier of Freedom (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1970) (ISBN: 0-15-602757-7).
  • The Three Roosevelts: Patrician Leaders Who Transformed America, with Susan Dunn (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2001) (ISBN: 0-8021-3872-1).
  • Packing the Court: The Rise of Judicial Power and the Coming Crisis of the Supreme Court (Penguin Press, 2009) (ISBN: 1594202192).
  • Fire and Light: How the Enlightenment Transformed Our World (St. Martin's Press, 2013) (ISBN: 9781250024893).
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