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University Relations

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September 8, 2005
Contact: Bill Lacy, Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, (785) 864-4900.

Historian Richard Norton Smith returns to speak at Dole Institute Sept. 28

LAWRENCE -- Richard Norton Smith, the first permanent director of the Dole Institute of Politics, will return to the University of Kansas this month to deliver a lecture on his forthcoming book , "On His Own Terms," about the liberal Republican icon Nelson Rockefeller. The book will be published in 2006.

Smith, a nationally recognized authority on the American presidency who is now executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill.will speak at 7 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 28 at the institute on KU's West Campus. A public reception and book signing will follow the free lecture. Smith also will attend a Pizza & Politics event with KU students at 12 p.m. Sept. 28 in the Kansas Union.

" We are delighted and honored that Richard will be coming back," said director Bill Lacy. "First, he is working on a book that might just win a Pulitzer Prize. This will be a 'sneak preview' of his important new book."

"Second, it's important to bring Richard back to actually speak in the Dole Institute, which he was so instrumental in establishing," Lacy said.

A Harvard University graduate, Smith has written biographies of presidents Hoover and Washington and of Republican presidential candidate Thomas E. Dewey. He helped Sen. Dole and now Sen. Elizabeth Dole write their autobiography, "Unlimited Partners," and more recently assisted Sen. Dole on his two books of political humor, "Laughing (Almost) All the Way to the White House" and "Great Presidential Wit." He was director of the Dole Institute from 2001 to 2004 and previously served as director of the Ford, Reagan, Hoover and Eisenhower presidential libraries.

The Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, established 1997 to honor the former Kansas senator and KU alumnus, is designed to foster new thinking on major policy issues and to encourage student participation and citizen involvement in public service. The Dole Archives contain one of the nation's largest congressional collections.

The institute's Visitors Hall is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free. For more information, call (785) 864-4900 or visit


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