Bachelor in History with honors, Juniata College, 1969. Master of Arts, Emory University, 1972. Doctor of Philosophy in American Studies, Emory University, 1981.
Research historian Office of Small Exhibits National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, 1974-1977. Coordinator Yale Center American Art and Material Culture, 1977-1980. Senior exhibit planner Design and Production Inc., Alexandria, Virginia, 1981-1982.
Associate director The Hudson River Museum, Yonkers, New York, 1982-1985, director, 1985-1986. Associate director programs, collections, and publications Museum of the City of New York, 1986-1992. Executive director Atlanta History Society, 1992—2002.
Chief operating officer New York History Society, 2002—2004. Director Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. & Museum, Springfield, Illinois, 2006—2008.
Consultant in field; president Civil War 150: The Sesquicentennial Initiative.
Member American Association Museum, American Studies Association, Society of America Historians.
Married Susan Elliott, July 11, 1992. 1 child, Nora.