A sad note: Stephen Ambrose died of lung cancer
on Sunday, October 13, 2002, at the age of 66
Stephen E. Ambrose was born in 1936 in Whitewater, Wisconsin, the son of a small town doctor. He started pre-med at the University of Wisconsin but soon discovered his true passion and switched to American history. He went on to study at Louisiana State University for an M.A., and later returned to Wisconsin for his Ph.D.
He has become a phenomenal popularizer of history. He is the author of more than 20 books (see the list below), most of them on military history, many of them bestsellers.
In an interview with Atlantic Monthly magazine, Ambrose was asked what drew him to become a military historian, even though he had never fought in a war himself. He replied, “I decided early on that I wanted to be a historian, and then I very quickly figured out that war is where the action is, and even more specifically, that the action’s on the battlefield, where who wins determines the kind of world we’re going to live in. I thought, I want to go to the heart of the matter.”
Elsewhere, Ambrose has further explained his specific interest in World War II: “I was ten years old when the war ended. I thought the returning veterans were giants who had saved the world from barbarism. I still think so. I remain a hero worshiper. Over the decades I’ve interviewed thousands of veterans. It is a privilege to hear their stories, then write them up.”
He is a retired professor of history at the University of New Orleans, and is the founder and director emeritus of the Eisenhower Center in New Orleans. Recently, Ambrose founded the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans.
Stephen Ambrose’s Books
- Americans at War
- Band Of Brothers: E Company, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne from Normandy to Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest
Click here to read a section of “Band Of Brothers” online
- Citizen Soldiers: The U.S. Army from the Normandy Beaches to the Bulge to the Surrender of Germany, June 7, 1944 to May 7, 1945
Click here to read a section of “Citizen Soldiers” online
Click here to read another section of “Citizen Soldiers”
- Comrades: Brothers, Fathers, Heroes, Sons, Pals
- Crazy Horse and Custer
- D-Day June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II
Click here to read a section of “D-Day” online
- Eisenhower: Soldier and President
- Eisenhower and the German POWs: Facts Against Falsehood
- The Good Fight: How World War II Was Won
- Halleck: Lincoln’s Chief of Staff
- Nixon: Education of a Politician, 1913-1962
- Nothing Like It in the World: The Men Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad 1863-1869
- Pegasus Bridge
- Rise to Globalism: American Foreign Policy Since 1938
- Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West
- Upton and The Army
- The Victors: Eisenhower and His Boys
Click here to read a section of “The Victors” online
- Wild Blue: The Men and Boys Who Flew the B-24s over Germany
Click here to browse the full selection of Ambrose’s books from Amazon.com.