David Levering Lewis

David Levering Lewis

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David Levering Lewis

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David Levering Lewis (born May 25, 1936) is the Julius Silver University Professor and Professor of History at New York University. He is twice winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography, for part one and part two of his biography of W. E. B. Du Bois (in 1994 and 2001, respectively). He is the first author to win two Pulitzer Prizes for biography for back-to-back volumes.

The author of eight books and editor of two more, Lewis's field is comparative history with special focus on twentieth-century United States social history and civil rights. His interests include nineteenth-century Africa, twentieth-century France, and Islamic Spain.


Lewis was born in Little Rock, Arkansas. His father, John Henry Lewis, Sr., graduated from Yale University School of Divinity and received an M.A. in sociology from the University of Chicago, and was principal of . His mother taught high school math. Lewis attended parochial school in Little Rock, then Wilberforce Preparatory School and Xenia High School in Ohio. When the family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, Lewis attended Booker T. Washington High School his junior year until his early admission at age fifteen to Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa in 1956.

Lewis briefly attended the University of Michigan Law School, then transferred to Columbia University where he earned his M.A. in history in 1959. In...
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