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September 13, 2011

Host of PBS NewsHour Jim Lehrer to Speak at Williamsburg Lodge for Book Author Series

Jim Lehrer, author and executive editor and anchor of PBS NewsHour, will sign copies of his latest book “Tension City: Inside the Presidential Debates, from Kennedy-Nixon to Obama-McCain,” beginning at 11:15 a.m. at the Williamsburg Lodge, Thursday, Oct. 6. Lunch will be served at noon, followed at 12:45 p.m. with a question-and-answer session. Lehrer’s book, just in time for the presidential debate season, will be available for purchase at the event.

A veteran journalist who has presided over 11 presidential and vice-presidential debates, Jim Lehrer pulls back the curtain on more than 40 years of televised political debate in America and sheds light on some of the epic political battles of our time, revealing critical turning points and rhetorical faux pas that helped determine the outcome of America’s presidential elections — and with them the course of history. His contributions as a journalist and debate moderator have earned him national service awards, including the Distinguished Service Award for the Advancement of American Public Discourse on Foreign Policy from the American Committee on Foreign Relations.

Jim Lehrer is a senior trustee of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and recipient of the Foundation’s highest honor, the Churchill Bell. He has been recognized for numerous awards for excellence in journalism, including the Chairman’s Award at the 2010 National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences News and Documentary Emmy Awards, the 1999 National Humanities Medal and, in October of this year, the National Press Club will present him with its top honor, the Fourth Estate Award.

In 1999, Lehrer was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame and the Silver Circle of the Washington, D.C., chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He has won two Emmy awards, the Fred Friendly First Amendment Award, the George Foster Peabody Broadcast Award, the William Allen White Foundation Award for Journalistic Merit and the University of Missouri School of Journalism Medal of Honor. In 1991, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of 20 novels, two memoirs and three plays.

Lehrer’s appearance is the second in Colonial Williamsburg’s Book Author Series. Andrew Ross Sorkin, author of “Too Big to Fail: How Wall Street and Washington Fought to Save the Financial System – and Themselves,” spoke at the Williamsburg Inn in March.

Price for the lunch is $30 which includes tax and gratuity. Call 1-800-447-8679 for reservations. Space is limited.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, restoration and presentation of the 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

Media Contact:
Barbara Brown
(757) 220-7280