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In memoriam

James Reston, Jr.

Former Global Fellow


    October 1, 2002 — December 31, 2022

    Professional affiliation

    Independent Writer, Chevy Chase, MD

    Wilson Center Projects

    "The Nineteenth Hijacker"

    Full Biography

    James Reston, Jr. was an assistant to Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall before serving in the US Army from 1965 to 1968. In 1976-77, he was David Frost's Watergate advisor for the famous Nixon interviews, the most watched public affairs television program in American history. Touted as Frost's "top gun," Reston wrote an 80-page interrogation document for Frost. He is the bestselling author of eighteen books—including The Conviction of Richard Nixon: The Untold Story of the Frost/Nixon Interviews, which helped inspire the Academy Award-nominated film Frost/Nixon (2008)—four plays, and numerous articles in The New Yorker, Vanity Fair, and Time. He won the Prix Italia and Dupont-Columbus Award for his NPR radio documentary, Father Cares: The Last of Jonestown, and he is the creator of four public television documentaries. 

    Major Publications

    • The Accidental Victim: JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald, and the Real Target in Dallas (Zola Books, 2013)
    • The Conviction of Richard Nixon: The Untold Story of the Frost/Nixon Interviews (Harmony, 2007)
    • Fragile Innocence: A Father's Memoir of His Daughter's Courageous Journey (Harmony Books, 2006)
    • Dogs of God: Columbus, the Inquisition, and the Defeat of the Moors (Doubleday, 2005)
    • Warriors of God: Richard the Lionhearted and Saladin in the Third Crusade (Doubleday, 2001)
    • The Last Apocalypse: Europe in the Year 1000 A.D. (1998)
    • Galileo: A Life (1994)
    • Collision at Home Plate: The Lives of Pete Rose and Bart Giamatti (1991)
    • The Lone Star: The Life of John Connally (1989)
    • Sherman's March and Vietnam (1985)
    • Jonestown Express, a play (1984)
    • Our Father Who Art in Hell: The Life and Death of Jim Jones (1981)
    • Sherman, the Peacemaker, a play (1979)
    • The Innocence of Joan Little (1977)
    • The Knock at Midnight, a novel (1975)
    • The Amnesty of John David Herndon (1973)
    • To Defend, To Destroy, a novel (1971)


    Previous Terms

    1994-1995, Guest Scholar, The Last Apocalypse