Steve Neal (historian)

Steve Neal (1949 in Coos Bay, Oregon – February 18, 2004 in Hinsdale, Illinois) was an American journalist and historian, noted for political columns and coverage of American electoral history. He is best known for Dark Horse, an authorized biography of 1940 presidential candidate Wendell Willkie.[1][2]

Steve Neal
DiedFebruary 18, 2004
OccupationJournalist, historian



After studying at the University of Oregon and Columbia University, Neal served as a bylined reporter and columnist for the Oregon Journal, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Chicago Tribune, rising to the level of White House correspondent for the Tribune. From 1987 until 2004, he worked with the Chicago Sun-Times, writing a frequent political column for their editorial page. In 1999, a collection of Neal's columns, Rolling on the River, was published by the Southern Illinois University Press.[1]


External video
  Presentation by Neal on Harry and Ike: The Partnership That Remade the Postwar Period, September 20, 2001, C-SPAN
  Booknotes interview with Steve Neal on Harry and Ike, February 10, 2002, C-SPAN
  Presentation by Neal on Eleanor and Harry: The Correspondence, September 9, 2002, C-SPAN

Neal published biographies and biographical material on Dwight D. Eisenhower, Oregon Gov. Tom McCall, and 1940 presidential candidate Wendell Willkie; he also edited collections of the letters and speeches of Harry S. Truman. His hero, however, was Abraham Lincoln, and he campaigned for public support to transfer Lincoln's papers and memorabilia to a scholarly, nonpolitical library and museum that would serve as a focus for public education of the life of the 16th President of the United States.[1]

Death and honorsEdit

Neal was found dead at his Hinsdale home on February 18, 2004 after having inhaled a fatal quantity of carbon monoxide.[1] The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, located in Springfield, Illinois, opened to the public in 2005. The library has named its reading room the Steve Neal Reading Room in honor of Neal's work and advocacy for the creation of the library.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d Pearson, Rick (20 February 2004). "Steve Neal, 54". Chicago Tribune.
  2. ^ Neal, Steve (1984). Dark Horse: A Biography of Wendell Willkie. Garden City, NY: Doubleday. ISBN 0-385-18439-5.
  3. ^ "Steve Neal Reading Room". Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. Archived from the original on 2012-09-25. Retrieved 2012-08-25.

External linksEdit