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Famous Former Professors - January 12, 2018

Stephen E. Ambrose, historian and best-selling author

Q: The late author, Stephen E. Ambrose, is one of the best-selling historians of all time, with dozens of notable books to his name. Before he became a famous author, he was a Kansas college professor. At which Kansas school did Ambrose teach history?  


 
A: Kansas State University  
 

In 1970, Stephen E. Ambrose was a history professor at Kansas State University. On September 16 of that year, President Richard Nixon delivered the Landon Lecture at K-State's Ahearn Fieldhouse. A few dozen people in the audience, including Ambrose, started to heckle the president during his speech. According to Adrian Zink, author of the book "Hidden History of Kansas," administrators at K-State were angry and embarrassed at the way the president was treated.
 
Following the incident, Ambrose and his wife (who also attended Nixon's speech) became social outcasts in Manhattan. According to Zink, the university pressured Ambrose to resign and accepted his agreement to leave after finishing out the year. Ambrose died in 2002 but is remembered for his many books, including biographies of President Dwight Eisenhower and, believe it or not, a three-volume biography of President Nixon.    
 
Fun Factoid: Stephen Ambrose helped found The National World War II Museum in New Orleans.

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