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Pulitzer Prize-Winning Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin Discusses Presidential Leadership with GBH Executive Arts Editor Jared Bowen at April 26 Needham Library Fundraiser

Deeply troubled nations can achieve great things when great leaders emerge, and the United States — past and present — is no exception. Leadership in troubled times was the theme of a fireside chat with Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin at a fundraiser for the Needham Free Public Library on April 26.

More than 400 guests from Needham and beyond attended the sold-out event. Some 25 local businesses and organizations signed on as sponsors. (See below)

Hosting “An Evening with Doris Kearns Goodwin” was GBH Executive Arts Editor Jared Bowen. The event also featured entry music by the Beantown Brass Quintet, a stirring rendition of “America the Beautiful” by singer-songwriter Livingston Taylor and a question-and-answer session between Ms. Goodwin and Needham High School students. The Friends of the Needham Public Library presented the event to celebrate its 50th anniversary in association with Needham High School and the Library Foundation of Needham, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The program took place in the magnificently restored Powers Hall in Needham Town Hall.

Ms. Goodwin’s remarks transported the audience back to challenging times in America’s past to provide perspective and analysis on today’s cascading crises. History, she demonstrated, provides lessons, solace, and even hope.

Click here to see a welcome video from Librarian of Congress Dr. Carla Hayden.

Ms. Goodwin — a Boston resident who is a #1 New York Times best-selling author, an international keynote speaker and a national television personality commenting on current affairs–is celebrated for her insights into American history, particularly the presidencies of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Lyndon Baines Johnson. Her remarks will be based in part on her book “Leadership in Turbulent Times”(2018), which traces how the personal evolution and “crucible” experiences of these presidents readied them to lead the country in positive new directions during times of crisis.

Ms. Goodwin’s many other books include “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” (2005) about the Lincoln cabinet and “No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II” (1994), winner of the 1995 Pulitzer Prize in history. A former White House Fellow under President Johnson with a doctorate in government from Harvard University, Ms. Goodwin is also the author of “Lyndon Johnson and the American Dream” (1976), “The Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys: An American Saga” (1987); “Wait Till Next Year” (1997) and “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism” (2013).

Proceeds of the event will go to the Needham Free Public Library to enhance remote access to the rich array of free programs for adults and children presented in the Library’s Community Room and support related Library improvements.


The greater Needham community provided exceptional support for this library fundraiser.

Media Partner

Gold Sponsors
Friends of the Needham Public Library
Library Foundation of Needham

Silver Sponsors
Direct Federal Credit Union
Needham Bank
North Hill Retirement Community

Bronze Sponsors
The Bulfinch Group
Dedham Savings Bank
Louise Condon Realty
Fidelity Investments
Middlesex Savings Bank
MacFarlane Energy
Newbridge on the Charles

128 CRE
Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital-Needham
Eastern Bank
Fidelity Bank
Friese Cramer Rosen & Huber, LLP
Cathy Livingston
Michael Niden
Petrini Corporation
Representative Denise Garlick
Mark’s Moving & Storage
The Bulfinch Companies

Needham Children’s Center
Harvey Family Dental

Special Thanks
Beantown Brass Quintet
Great Hall Performance Foundation
Nigohsian Carpet & Rug
Photographer Josh Levine
Trader Joe’s
Volante Farms

Honorary Committee

We thank our friends for supporting this event.

Bruce and Katie Barnett
Merle and Neil Berman
Margie and Dr. Gil Brodsky
John Bulian
Faith and Stuart Chandler
Paul and Susan Chern
Jay and Claire Fialkov
Rich and Claudia Gatto
Gloria and Michael Greis
Beth and Paul Hammerstrand
Moe and Dr. Elizabeth Handel
Gail and Tom Hedges
Susan and Richard Kesner
John Lechner
Michael Niden
Margaret Pantridge and Nick King
Erlene Rosowsky
Simone Scott-Walker
Rob Stegman
Carol and Jim Stento
Sydna and Steve Weinstein