George Will

From Academic Kids

George Frederick Will (born May 4, 1941) is an American conservative columnist, journalist, and author.

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George Will

Education and early career

Will was born in Champaign, Illinois and graduated from University High School of Urbana. He then attended Trinity College and Oxford University. He received an M.A. and a Ph.D. in politics from Princeton University.

Will then taught political philosophy at Michigan State University and the University of Toronto. From 1970 to 1972, he and served on the staff of Senator Gordon Allott (R-CO)

Career in Journalism

Will served as an editor for the conservative magazine National Review from 1973 to 1976. He joined the Washington Post Writers Group in 1974, writing a sydnicated twice-weekly column, which became widely circulated among newspapers across the country. In 1976 he became a contributing editor for Newsweek, writing a biweekly backpage column. As of 2005, Will still writes both columns.

Will won a Pulitzer Prize for editorial journalism in 1977 for his editorial writing. His writing is known, and sometimes mocked, for its erudite vocabulary. Will has also written several books on the game of baseball, and several books compiling his columns for the Washington Post and Newsweek.

Will's columns are distinguished by a mix of commentary and reporting, a strong emphasis on history, and regular forays into baseball.

Will also has appeared as a news analyst for ABC since the early 1980s, and was a founding member of the panel of ABC's This Week with David Brinkley in 1981.


In 1983, it was alleged that Will had helped Ronald Reagan prepare for his 1980 presidential debate against Jimmy Carter, breaking with the standard journalistic tradition of neutrality. Soon after the debates, Will then praised Reagan's performance in an appearance on ABC's Nightline, without revealing his participation in the preparation sessions.

President Carter alleges that Will was the middle man who received Carter's stolen debate notebooks from a White house employee. And that he brought the material to the Reagan campaign, in addition to coaching Reagan for the debate1.

The liberal media watchdog group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting criticized Will in connection with the 1996 election, for "commenting on the presidential race while his second wife, Mari Maseng Will, was a senior staffer for the Dole presidential campaign", including commenting on a Dole speech without disclosing that his wife had helped to write it. In 2004, according to FAIR, Will received a $25,000 payment from financier Conrad Black for one day's consulting, then wrote favorably about Black without disclosing the payment. [1] (


  • 1977 – Pulitzer Prize for Commentary
  • 1978 – Headliner Award for consistently outstanding feature columns
  • 1979 – Finalist for National Magazine Award in essays and criticism
  • 1980 – Sliurian Award for editorial writing
  • 1991 – Sliurian Award for editorial writing
  • 1991 – First Place in Interpretive Columns: Clarion Awards from Women in Communications


  • Will, George F. The Pursuit of Happiness and Other Sobering Thoughts. Harper & Row, 1978.
  • Will, George F. The Pursuit of Virtue and Other Tory Notions. Simon & Schuster, 1982.
  • Will, George F. Statecraft as Soulcraft: What Government Does. Simon & Schuster, 1983.
  • Will, George F. The Morning After: American Success and Excesses/1981–1986. Free Press, 1986.
  • Will, George F. The New Season: A Spectator's Guide to the 1988 Election. Simon & Schuster, 1987.
  • Will, George F. Men at Work: The Craft of Baseball. Macmillan, 1990.
  • Will, George F. Suddenly: The American Idea Abroad and at Home. Free Press, 1990.
  • Will, George F. Restoration: Congress, Term Limits and the Recovery of Deliberative Democracy. 1992.


  1. President Carter interview, Fresh Air, Thursday - October 21, 2004 ( (about 28:30 into the interview)

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Commentary (critical)


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