Burns has been making documentary films for more than twenty years, directing and producing some of the most acclaimed historical documentaries ever made, including The Civil War (1990) and Baseball (1994). The historian Stephen Ambrose has said of Burns's films, "More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than any other source." His work has also included two-part biographies of some of America's most important men and women, including Thomas Jefferson (1997), Frank Lloyd Wright (1998), and Lewis & Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery (1997).
His work has received numerous accolades. The Civil War was the highest rated series in the history of American public television and attracted an audience of 40 million during its premiere. The series was honored with more than 40 major film and television awards. Baseball attracted more than 45 million viewers, and won numerous awards, including an Emmy, the CINE Golden Eagle Award, the Clarion Award, and the Television Critics Award for Outstanding Achievement in Sports and Special Programming.
Burns graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts in 1985, receiving a degree in film studies and design. He resides in Walpole, New Hampshire, with his two daughters.
The James Michelin Distinguished Visitor's Program was established in 1992 by New York designer Bonnie Cashin in memory of her uncle, James Michelin, a consulting engineer, who had always hoped to attend Caltech. Previous speakers in this series have included architectural historian Vincent Scully, artist David Hockney, playwright Tom Stoppard, and architect Frank Gehry. The purpose of these lectures is to promote creative interaction between the arts and sciences.
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Contact: Mark Wheeler (626) 395-8733 [email protected]
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