Prof Andrew Roberts, who was born in 1963, took a first class honours degree in Modern History at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, from where he is an honorary senior scholar and a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). He is presently a Visiting Professor at the War Studies Department at King’s College, London and the Lehrman Institute Lecturer at the New-York Historical Society. He has written or edited nineteen books, which have been translated into 22 languages, and appears regularly on radio and television around the world.
Based in London, he is an accomplished public speaker, and has delivered the White House Lecture, as well as speaking at Oxford, Cambridge, Yale, Princeton and Stanford Universities, and at Sandhurst, Shrivenham and the US Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. In 2011, NBC commissioned him to commentate alongside Matt Lauer and Meredith Vieira on the Royal Wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton, following his well-received broadcasts at the funerals of Diana, Princess of Wales and Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and the wedding of Prince Charles to the Duchess of Cornwall. He also commentated for NBC on The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the birth of Prince George of Cambridge.
His biography of Neville Chamberlain’s and Winston Churchill’s foreign secretary, the Earl of Halifax, entitled The Holy Fox was published in 1991, to be followed by the controversial, but no less well-received Eminent Churchillians in 1994. As well as appearing regularly on British and American television and radio, Roberts writes for The Sunday Telegraph and reviews history books and biography for that newspaper as well as The Spectator, Literary Review, Mail on Sunday and Wall Street Journal.
In 1999 he published Salisbury: Victorian Titan, the authorised biography of the Victorian prime minister the 3rd Marquess of Salisbury, which won the Wolfson History Prize and the James Stern Silver Pen Award for Non-Fiction. In September 2001, Napoleon and Wellington, an investigation into the relationship between the two great generals, was published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson, and was the lead review in all but one of Britain’s national newspapers. January 2003 saw the publication of Hitler and Churchill: Secrets of Leadership, which coincided with Roberts’s four-part BBC2 history series.
Prof Roberts has two children; Henry, who was born in 1997 and Cassia, who was born in 1999. He lives in London with his wife, Susan Gilchrist, who is the Global CEO of the corporate communications firm Brunswick Group, and a Governor of the Southbank Centre.
In 2004, Prof Roberts edited What Might Have Been, a collection of twelve ‘What If?’ essays written by distinguished historians, including Antonia Fraser, Norman Stone, Amanda Foreman, Simon Sebag Montefiore, Conrad Black and Anne Somerset.
In 2005 Roberts published Waterloo: Napoleon’s Last Gamble, which was published in America as Waterloo: The Battle for Modern Europe. The publication of A History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900 brought him an invitation to the White House in February 2007, where he delivered the prestigious White House Lecture. His books have been translated into Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Turkish, Hebrew, Hungarian, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Marathi, Slovenian, Spanish, Thai, Malaysian and Vietnamese.
Masters and Commanders, which was published in 2008, won the Emery Reves Award of the International Churchill Society and was shortlisted for The Duke of Westminster’s Gold Medal for Military History and The British Army Military Book Award, both of Britain’s two top military history prizes. The Storm of War was published in August 2009 and reached No.2 on The Sunday Times bestseller list, and won the British Army Military Book Award for 2010.
Roberts is interested in public policy and sits on the boards or advisory councils of a number of think-tanks and pressure groups, including Policy Exchange, The Centre for Policy Studies, The Canadian Institute for Jewish Research, The UK National Defence Association, The London Jewish Cultural Centre, and Intelligence Squared US’s Intelligence Council. He holds an honorary doctorate from Westminster College, Missouri. He is a Director of the Harry Guggenheim Foundation in New York, a founder member of President Jose Maria Aznar’s Friends of Israel Committee (alongside Vaclav Havel, Lech Walesa and Alejandro Toledo), and in 2010 he chaired the Hessell-Tiltman Award for Non-Fiction. He is also Vice President-elect of the Guild of Battlefield Guides.
Prof Roberts is a quondam judge on the Elizabeth Longford Historical Biography Prize, he chaired the Conservative Party’s Advisory Panel on the Teaching of History in Schools in 2005, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He has also been elected a Fellow of the Napoleonic Institute and an Honorary Member of the International Churchill Society (UK). He is also a Trustee of the Margaret Thatcher Archive Trust and of the Roberts Foundation.
In 2011 Prof Roberts was appointed to the committee of the International Friends of the London Library, the Academic Board of the Henry Jackson Society, the Review Committee of the Dan David Prize, and he became an Honorary Co-Chair of the New York Historical Society’s Chairman’s Council. He is also on the Directors Council of SpeakEasy, the Advisors Board of the British Journal of Military History and is an Honorary Vice-President of the Cambridge University Conservative Association.
In 2012 he was awarded the William Penn Prize (former recipients include President Ulysses S. Grant, Gen. George C. Marshall, Walt Whitman and Earl Mountbatten) as well as the British Schools and Universities Club of USA ‘Pride of the Century Award’; he joined the Academic Advisory Committee of the National Churchill Library and Centre at George Washington University, and was the guest curator of the Morgan Library’s ‘Churchill: the Power of Words’ exhibition. In May 2013 the Prime Minister appointed him a Trustee of the National Portrait Gallery. In 2013 he was the Merrill Family visiting professor at Cornell University, and in 2014 his biography of Napoleon Bonaparte was published, which won the Grand Prix of the Fondation Napoléon, awarded to him by the Princesse Bonaparte at the British Embassy in Paris, and The Los Angeles Times Biography Prize 2015.
In February 2016, Prof Roberts was elected President of the Cambridge University Conservative Association, a post previously occupied by Rab Butler, Francis Pym and Michael Howard. In May 2016 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, and the next month he was awarded the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation’s Prize, with its $250,000 stipend, for his contribution to ‘increasing the world’s understanding of pivotal world events’.
He is presently writing a biography of Sir Winston Churchill.