T. J. Stiles '86

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Timothy (T. J.) Stiles, a Minnesota native and a second-generation Carl, was a history major at Carleton. After Carleton, he earned two graduate degrees from Columbia University and worked as an editor.

Stiles held the Gilder Lehrman Fellowship in American History at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library and taught at Columbia University. Stiles was also an adviser for the PBS series The American Experience. While working in New York, he wrote several anthologies related to U.S. history.

In 2003, his book, Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War was published by Alfred A. Knopf and reviewed favorably in the popular and academic presses. Stiles' book won the Ambassador Book Award and the Peter Seaborg Award for Civil War Scholarship

In 2009, The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt, also published by Alfred A. Knopf, appeared and received equally high praise. The book won the National Book Award for nonfiction in that year.

In April 2010, Stiles won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography for his life of Vanderbilt.

Stiles' 2016 book, Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America won the Pulitzer Prize for History and the best biography prize from the Western Writers of America.

Books by T. J. Stiles

  • The American Revolution
  • The Citizen's Handbook
  • In Their Own Words: Founding Fathers
  • In Their Own Words: The Colonizers
  • In Their Own Words: Robber Barons and Radicals
  • In Their Own Words: Warriors and pioneers
  • Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War
  • The First Tycoon: The Epic Life of Cornelius Vanderbilt
  • Custer's Trials: A Life on the Frontier of a New America

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