Debby Applegate

Winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Biography, author Debby Applegate has spent 20 years researching and writing about Henry Ward Beecher. She first discovered Beecher as an undergraduate in the college archives at Amherst College, where she graduated summa cum laude in 1989. She continued her work on Beecher while a Sterling Fellow in American Studies at Yale, where she earned her Ph.D. in 1998. Her research for the book spanned the American Revolution to the Gilded Age, and took her to scores of historical archives and scholarly libraries across the country, from country athenaeums to ivy covered towers to the damp basements of elderly great-grandchildren.

Her writing has won her numerous prizes and fellowships, has appeared in publications from the Journal of American History to The New York Times and has taught at Yale and Wesleyan Universities.  The Most Famous Man in America has won the 2006 Frederick G. Melcher Book Award, is a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for the Best Biography of 2006 and was named one of the Best Books of the Year by the New York Times Book Review, NPR's "Fresh Air" and the Chicago Tribune, amongst many others.