Jill Lepore's Headshot

Jill Lepore

Historian, Author, Harvard University Professor - Panelist Blurb

Jill Lepore is the David Woods Kemper ’41 Professor of American History at Harvard University. She is also a staff writer at The New Yorker and host of the podcast, The Last Archive. Her many books include, These Truths: A History of the United States, an international bestseller and one of Time magazines's top ten non-fiction books of the decade. Her next book, If Then: How the Simulmatics Corporation Invented the Future will be published in September 2020. 

Much of Lepore's scholarship explores absences and asymmetries in the historical record, with a particular emphasis on the histories and technologies of evidence. A prize-winning professor, she teaches classes in evidence, historical methods, the humanities, and American political history.

In 2017, she launched the Democracy Project: Arguing with American History, a one-semester undergraduate course on the history of the United States, undertaken through weekly debates in which students use primary sources to argue over competing historical interpretations of turning points in American history. She also teaches at Harvard Law School.

In 2018, as part of her research on the Simulmatics Corporation and represented by the Yale Law School's Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic, Lepore filed a petition in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, requesting the unsealing of grand jury records pertaining to the Pentagon Papers investigation in Boston in 1971.

Lepore is the recipient of many honors, awards, and honorary degrees, and has been a finalist for the National Book Award; the National Magazine Award; and, twice, for the Pulitzer Prize. Her essays and reviews have appeared in The New York Times, Times Literary Supplement, Journal of American History, Foreign Affairs, Yale Law Journal, American Scholar, and American Quarterly.

Lepore's earlier work includes a trilogy of books that together constitute a political history of early America: The Name of War: King Philip's War and the Origins of American Identity, winner of the Bancroft Prize, the Ralph Waldo Emerson Award, and the Berkshire Prize; New York Burning: Liberty, Slavery and Conspiracy in Eighteenth-Century Manhattan, winner of the Anisfield-Wolf Award for the best nonfiction book on race, and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin, Time magazine's Best Nonfiction Book of the Year, winner of the Mark Lynton History Prize, and a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award.

Lepore received a B.A. in English from Tufts University in 1987, an M.A. in American Culture from the University of Michigan in 1990, and a PhD in American Studies from Yale University in 1995. She lives in Cambridge, MA, with her husband and their three sons.