George F. Will *68
Graduate Alumni Candidate
“It is wonderful -- although also a failure of rational pricing -- to be paid to do what one would do for the fun of it,” says Pulitzer Prize winning conservative columnist and author, George F. Will *68. His newspaper column has been syndicated by the Washington Post since 1974, and today appears twice weekly in just under 500 newspapers in the United States and Europe. In 1976 he became a regular contributing editor of Newsweek, for which he provides the back page essay twice a month. In 1977 he won a Pulitzer Prize for newspaper commentary.
“Never have I regretted the three years I spent in a carrel in the basement of Firestone,” says Will of his time at Princeton, where he received an M.A. and Ph.D. in politics. “The superb instruction I received in the Politics Department supplied the intellectual resources on which I draw constantly in writing about America’s political and cultural controversies, almost all of which are echoes of arguments that define Western political philosophy.”
Will attended Trinity College and received a B.A. He then went on to Oxford University, where he received a degree before attending Princeton. Before his writing career, he taught political philosophy at Michigan State University and the University of Toronto. Twice he has taught a course at Harvard with Professors Harvey Mansfield and Michael Sandel. He also served on the staff of the United States Senate from 1970 to 1972. He was Washington editor of National Review magazine from 1973 to 1976.
From 1977 to 1984 he was a regular panelist on the “Agronsky & Company” television program and in 1981 he became a founding member of the panel of ABC’s “This Week with David Brinkley.”
Will’s thirteen books include eight collections of his Newsweek and newspaper columns. He has published several books on political philosophy, including Statecraft as Soulcraft: What Government Does, based on the Godkin Lectures he delivered at Harvard in 1981, and Restoration: Congress, Term Limits and The Recovery of Deliberative Democracy. Will also has written two bestselling books on baseball, Men At Work: The Craft of Baseball (1990) and Bunts: Curt Flood, Camden Yards, Pete Rose and Other Reflections on Baseball (1998).
Though he is regarded as a conservative, liberals have praised Will for his honest criticism of conservative politicians, such as Richard Nixon, George Bush and John McCain. He criticized the Bush Iraq policy and White House and congressional foreign and domestic policy making in his keynote address for the Cato Institute’s 2006 Milton Friedman prize dinner.
Will has volunteered for countless organizations over the years, such as the Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Board of Special Kids in Publishing, and together with Paul A. Volcker, former Senator George J. Mitchell and Yale President Richard C. Levin, Will served on the Major League Baseball Commissioner’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Baseball Economics. Will has received numerous awards and honors, including the Cronkite Award, the Bradley Prize, the Champion of Liberty Award, and he has received honorary degrees from numerous universities and colleges.
A life member of the APGA, Will has served on numerous Princeton panels and was the 1992 Madison Medal winner. He is currently serving for a second stint on the Graduate Leadership Council. “One of the most striking, and regrettable changes has been the declining rapport between the intellectual and political classes, and particularly between academia and those engaged in governance. The Graduate School has much to contribute to rethinking and nurturing the vocation of the public intellectual,” he says.