Ronald Lewis Steel (born March 25, 1931) is an American writer, historian, and professor. He is the author of the definitive biography of Walter Lippmann.[1][a]


Ronald Steel was born in 1931 in Morris, Illinois outside of Chicago. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and English[1] from Northwestern University (1953) and a Master of Arts degree in political economy from Harvard University (1955).[2][3]

He served in the United States Army and was a diplomat in the United States Foreign Service.[4]

He is the author of Walter Lippmann and the American Century,[4][5] the definitive biography of Lippman.[1] For this book, he was awarded the 1980 National Book Critics Circle Award in General Nonfiction, a National Book Award,[6][a] the Bancroft Prize, and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History. The book was also nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in Biography.

He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1973.[7]

Steel is a Professor Emeritus of International Relations, History, and Journalism at the University of Southern California.[4] Before teaching at USC, he taught at Yale University, Rutgers University, Wellesley College, Dartmouth College, George Washington University, UCLA, and Princeton University.[4]

Later, Steel wrote for The New Republic in the 1980s.[8] He has also written for the Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times and The New York Review of Books.[2]


  1. ^ a b Walter Lippman won the 1982 award for paperback "Autobiography/Biography".
    From 1980 to 1983 in National Book Award history there were dual hardcover and paperback awards in most categories, and several nonfiction subcategories including General Nonfiction. Most of the paperback award-winners were reprints, including this one.


  1. ^ a b c Kreisler, Harry (March 1, 2004). "Conversation with Ronald Steel, Professor of International Relations, USC". Conversations with History. Institute of International Studies, UC Berkeley. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  2. ^ a b "Professor Ronald Steel (Department profile)". School of International Relations, University of Southern California. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  3. ^ "Ronald Steel". NNDB. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Faculty - School of International Relations - Ronald Steel". University of Southern California. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  5. ^ Steel, Robert (April 26, 1987). "'I Had to Win'". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  6. ^ "National Book Awards – 1982". National Book Foundation. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  7. ^ "1973 U.S. and Canadian Fellows". John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Archived from the original on May 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 
  8. ^ Alterman, Eric (June 18, 2007). "My Marty Peretz Problem — And Ours". The American Prospect. Retrieved 2008-11-09. 

External links