Former CIA director and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates wished he’d recruited Woodward into the CIA, “He has an extraordinary ability to get otherwise responsible adults to spill [their] guts to him…his ability to get people to talk about stuff they shouldn’t be talking about is just extraordinary and may be unique.” Therein lays the genius talent of Bob Woodward.
No one else in political investigative journalism has the clout, respect, and reputation of Woodward. He has a way of getting insiders to open up in ways that reveal an intimate yet sweeping portrayal of Washington and the political infighting, how we fight wars, the price of politics, how presidents lead, the homeland security efforts, and so much more. His work is meticulous and draws on internal memos, classified documents, meeting notes and hundreds of hours of recorded interviews with most of the key players, including the president. This is why Fear: Trump in the White House sold more than 1.1 million copies in its first week in September 2018 – breaking the 94-year first-week sales record of its publisher Simon & Schuster – and nearly 2 million copies in hardback, ebook and audio in the first four months.
As a speaker, Woodward pulls the curtain back on Washington and its leaders to captivate audiences with stories that are sometimes surprising, at times shocking, and always fascinating. He blends stories that are both up to the minute and from the past (to provide historical context). Woodward speaks as he writes – crisp and concise – and helps people get behind the spin to understand what’s really going on in the halls of power in an age of 24-hour news, social media, and snarky politics.
Professionally, Bob Woodward is currently associate editor for The Washington Post where he’s worked since 1971. He has won nearly every American journalism award, and the Post won the 1973 Pulitzer Prize for his work with Carl Bernstein on the Watergate scandal. In addition, Woodward was the main reporter for the Post’s articles on the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks that won the National Affairs Pulitzer Prize in 2002.
Bob Schieffer of CBS News said "Woodward has established himself as the best reporter of our time. He may be the best reporter of all time." Lloyd Green wrote in a review for The Guardian that Fear “depicts a White House awash in dysfunction, where the Lord of the Flies is the closest thing to an owner’s manual.” The Weekly Standard called Woodward “the best pure reporter of his generation, perhaps ever.” In 2003, Al Hunt of The Wall Street Journal called Woodward “the most celebrated journalist of our age.” In listing the all-time 100 best non- fiction books, Time magazine has called All the President’s Men, by Bernstein and Woodward, “Perhaps the most influential piece of journalism in history.”
Woodward has co-authored or authored 15 #1 national best-selling non-fiction books. They are: All the President’s Men (1974) and The Final Days (1976), both Watergate books, co-authored with Bernstein; The Brethren: Inside the Supreme Court (1979) co-authored with Scott Armstrong; Wired: The Short Life and Fast Times of John Belushi (1984); Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA 1981-87 (1987); The Commanders (1991); The Agenda: Inside the Clinton White House (1994); Shadow: Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate (1999); Bush at War (2002); Plan of Attack (2004); State of Denial: Bush at War Part III (2006); Obama’s Wars (2010); Fear: Trump in the White House (2018); Rage (2020); and Peril (2021) co-authored with Robert Costa. Woodward’s other national bestselling books are: The Secret Man: The Story of Watergate’s Deep Throat (2005), The Choice (1996), Maestro: Greenspan’s Fed and the American Boom (2000), The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006-2008 (2008), The Price of Politics (2012), and The Last of the President’s Men (2015).
Newsweek magazine has excerpted six of Woodward’s books in headline-making cover stories; “60 Minutes” has done pieces on eight of his books; and three of his books have been made into feature films.
In November 2017, the online learning portal MasterClass released “Bob Woodward Teaches Investigative Journalism.” In it, Woodward reveals the lessons he’s learned during his career, teaching students what truth means, how to uncover it, and how to build a story with it.
Woodward was born March 26, 1943 in Illinois. He graduated from Yale University in 1965 and served five years as a communications officer in the U.S. Navy before beginning his journalism career at the Montgomery County Sentinel (Maryland), where he was a reporter for one year before joining the Post.
- How We Got Here - Lessons from Ten Presidents
Now reporting on his tenth American president, Bob Woodward’s remarkable perspective is unmatched in journalism. The two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter takes audiences on a journey as only he can. From Nixon to the present, Woodward provides firsthand insights from having penetrated the White House, the Supreme Court, the CIA, the Pentagon, the Congress. He analyzes the successes and messes of the presidents he’s covered and offers important lessons - about governing, about presidential leadership during economic, military, and national crises, about the expanding powers of the presidency, and about the role of the media. Woodward’s content is tailored to the interests of the audience and is an in-depth, non-partisan, fact-driven analysis of America’s current state through the lens of history. In the time since he uncovered the Watergate scandal with Carl Bernstein in 1973, Woodward has worked to shine a light on the inner-workings of secret government. In all, he has written 21 nonfiction bestsellers – 15 of which went on to become #1; more than any modern-day author.
- Journalism in the Internet Age
- Inside Washington Politics
- What Are the Lessons of Watergate?
Bob Woodward’s and Carl Bernstein’s work uncovering the Watergate scandal was called “maybe the single greatest reporting effort of all time” by Gene Roberts, then managing editor of The New York Times. It earned them the Pulitzer Prize. Years after the revelations of Watergate that led to President Nixon’s resignation still cast a long shadow. Its lessons about secret government stand as warning signs to future presidents. Woodward brings audiences on a journey and shows how Watergate forever altered the nature of the presidency, Washington and journalism. Have the lessons of Watergate been forgotten or ignored? How did post-Watergate ethics laws embolden Congress and the media? How have the privacy and protections once expected by the nation’s chief executive changed? The legendary Bob Woodward draws on internal memos, classified documents, meeting notes and hundreds of hours of interviews with most of the key players, including the presidents, to offer insights on what it means to America and the President’s ability to lead effectively.
- War and Terrorism - What are the Lessons for America?
Nothing defines the nation to the world – and to itself – as much as war. Bob Woodward has written seven books on the wars and foreign policy of the two Bushes, Reagan and Obama -- beginning with The Commanders in 1991 on the first Gulf War, Veil: the Secret Wars of the CIA under Reagan, four books on President George W. Bush’s wars (Bush at War, Plan of Attack, State of Denial, and The War Within) and Obama’s Wars in 2010. Woodward’s work is so full of secrets that former CIA director and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said that he wished he’d recruited Woodward into the CIA, saying “He has an extraordinary ability to get otherwise responsible adults to spill their guts to him. His ability to get people to talk about stuff they shouldn’t be talking about is just extraordinary and may be unique.” In his talk Bob Woodward helps audiences see behind the closed doors and into the private offices of the Pentagon and the White House as our leaders wrestle with the great military, foreign policy and terrorism questions. There are important lessons there for our future as Woodward asks tough questions. What do we make of international instability? Are we prepared to defend the nation? Are America’s foreign policy efforts up to the task – and can we change as fast as the world is changing? Woodward speaks as he writes – crisp and concise – and his storytelling will hold audiences spellbound.
- A History of the Modern Presidency
Bob Woodard has reported on 20% of America’s presidents over his remarkable career. Bob Woodward’s 19 bestselling books – 13 #1s – is more than any contemporary non-fiction author. His name recognition is unmatched. Bob can deliver an entire talk focused on the presidents he’s written about (Nixon to Trump), how they led, and how each of them changed the office of the presidency.