35 Words
A Conversation with Thomas Jefferson

Clay Jenkinson

photo of Clay JenkinsonClay Jenkinson is one of the most sought-after humanities scholars in the United States. A cultural commentator who has devoted most of his professional career to public humanities programs, Clay Jenkinson has been honored by two presidents for his work. On November 6, 1989, he received from President George Bush one of the first five Charles Frankel Prizes, the National Endowment for the Humanities highest award (now called the National Humanities Medal), at the nomination of the NEH Chair, Lynne Cheney. On April 11, 1994, he was the first public humanities scholar to present a program at a White House-sponsored event when he presented Thomas Jefferson for a gathering hosted by President and Mrs. Clinton. When award-winning humanities documentary producer Ken Burns turned his attention to Thomas Jefferson, he asked Clay Jenkinson to be the major humanities commentator. Clay has made thousands of presentations throughout the United States and its territories, including Guam and the Northern Marianas.

Best known for his award-winning historical impersonations of Thomas Jefferson, Clay Jenkinson also impersonates other characters, including Meriwether Lewis, John Wesley Powell, Robert Oppenheimer, Jean Jacques Rousseau, and Jonathan Swift. His many honors are now slightly overshadowed by his being named, "America's Jefferson" in a strange cross between American Idol and The Dating Game on an episode of the Comedy News program The Colbert Report.

Clay is the author of several books including, Becoming Jefferson's People: ReInventing the American Republic in the Twenty-first Century. He and John Williams are currently engaged in creating the book, Letters To Thomas Jefferson, which encapsulates the stage show in printed word. Look for it to arrive in 2008.

When Clay isn't traveling to a speaking engagement you can find him enjoying his book collection at his home in Bismark, North Dakota.

Please visit him on the web at The Thomas Jefferson Hour.

John Williams

photo of John WilliamsJohn Williams is the guiding voice for "A Conversation with Thomas Jefferson." He sets the tone for the show with his wonderful blend of thought provoking and light hearted questions for Mr. Jefferson.

John Williams is known for being one of the most intelligent commentators on radio. His quick wit and thoughtful analysis of world events and local news have made him a trusted resource to millions of people throughout his career.

John was a host at WMBD Radio for 10 years in the 80's and 90's. He has been with WGN Radio in Chicago since 1997.

John was a finalist for Personality of the Year in 2006 at the Illinois Broadcasters Association "Silver Dome" Awards and has received numerous honors over his 25+ years in broadcasting. John's opinion pieces often appear in the Chicago Tribune.

John and his wife Brenda have two sons and the world's largest weiner dog. They reside in the suburbs of Chicago.

Please check back for updates on future shows.

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