Jacques Barzun Professor Emeritus of History
Ph.D.-- University of Chicago, 1966
M.A.-- University of Chicago, 1963
B.A.-- University of Memphis, 1961
Interests and Research
Kenneth T. Jackson was the Director of the Herbert H. Lehman Center for American History and the Jacques Barzun Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University, where he has also chaired the department of history. A graduate of the University of Memphis (B.A., magna cum laude, 1961) and the University of Chicago (M.A., 1963; Ph.D., 1966), he served for three years as an officer in the United States Air Force before joining the Columbia faculty as an assistant professor in 1968. Promoted to associate professor in 1971, to full professor in 1976, and to the Andrew W. Mellon professorship in 1987, he assumed the Barzun professorship, which honors one of the nation's most distinguished men of letters, in 1990. He has served as president of the Urban History Association (1994-1995), the Society of American Historians (1990-2000), the Organization of American Historians (2000-2001), the New York Historical Society (2001-2004), and the New York Academy of History (2015- present). He has been a Fulbright Lecturer in Germany, Australia, and Japan and a visiting professor at Princeton, UCLA, and the George Washington University. He has lectured at hundreds of colleges, universities, civic groups, and historical societies around the world, and he has been a featured guest on the NBC Today Show, ABC World News Tonight, ABC Nightline, CBS Evening News, CBS Up to the Minute, CNN, the History Channel East West Television, and more than sixty documentary productions. He has won fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the American Council of Learned Societies, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, and the Century Foundation. In addition to five honorary doctorates (the City University of New York, St. Peter's College, the State University of New York, the University of the South, and Wagner College), he has received Hunter College's Donald Sullivan Award, the University of Memphis' Distinguished Alumni Award, the St. Nicholas Society's Gold Medal of Merit, Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity's Order of the West Range, the Episcopal Diocese of New York's Servant of Education Award, the Skyscraper Museum's Notable New Yorker Award, the College of Physicians and Surgeons' Distinguished Award in the Humanities, the Delbarton School's Delbarton Medal, the West Side Spirit's West Sider of the Year Award, the University Seminar's Tannenbaum- Warner Award, the New- York Historical Society's Pintard- Benson Centennial Medal, Columbia University's Nicholas Murray Butler Medal, the New York Post's Liberty Medal, and the National Institute of Social Sciences' Gold Medal. In 2016, President Lee Bollinger awarded him Columbia's highest recognition, the Alexander Hamilton medal.