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Ronald Lewis Steel Edit Profile

educator , historian , writer

Ronald Lewis Steel, American writer, historian, educator. Recipient Sidney Hillman award, 1968, Washington Monthly book award, 1980, Los Angeles Times book award for non-fiction, 1980, National Book Critics Circle award, 1981, Bancroft prize Columbia University, 1981, American Book award for biography, 1982; Guggenheim fellow, 1973-1974; French-American Foundation fellow Ecole des Hautes Etudes, Paris, 2001-2002.


Steel, Ronald Lewis was born on March 25, 1931 in Morris, Illinois, United States.


Bachelor magna cum laude, Northwestern University, 1953. Master of Arts, Harvard University, 1955.


He is the author of the definitive biography of Walter Lippmann. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and English from Northwestern University (1953) and a Master of Arts degree in political economy from Harvard University (1955). He served in the United States Army and was a diplomat in the United States Foreign Service.

He is the author of Walter Lippmann and the American Century, the definitive biography of Lippman. The book was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1973. Steel is a Professor Emeritus of International Relations, History, and Journalism at the University of Southern California.

Before teaching at USC, he taught at Yale University, Rutgers University, Wellesley College, Dartmouth College, George Washington University, UCLA, and Princeton University. Later, Steel wrote for The New Republic in the 1980s. He has also written for the Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times and the The New York Review of Books.


  • For this book, he was awarded the 1980 National Book Critics Circle Award in General Nonfiction, a National Book Award, the Bancroft Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History.



Served with United States Army, 1954-1956. Member Council on Foreign Relations.