arc Leepson is a journalist, historian and the author of nine books, most recently: Ballad of the Green Beret, a biography of Army Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler (Stackpole Books, 2017). His previous books include What So Proudly We Hailed: Francis Scott Key, A Life (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2014), Lafayette: Idealist General (Palgrave/Macmillan, 2011), Desperate Engagement, the story of the Civil War Battle of Monocacy and the Confederate attack on Washington, D.C (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, 2007); Flag: An American Biography (Thomas Dunne, 2005), the history of the Stars and Stripes from the beginnings to the 21st century (Thomas Dunne, 2005); and Saving Monticello (Simon & Schuster, hardcover, 2001; University of Virginia Press, paper, 2003). He edited The Webster’s New World Dictionary of the Vietnam War (Macmillan, 1998), and wrote two books on health topics in the 1980s.
A former staff writer for Congressional Quarterly in Washington, D.C., he has been a free-lance writer since 1986. He has written for many newspapers and magazines, including Preservation, Smithsonian, Military History, Civil War Times, America's Civil War, Vietnam magazine, the Washington Post, New York Times, New York Times Book Review, The Wall Street Journal, Baltimore Sun, Chicago Tribune, Detroit News, Dallas Morning News, Christian Science Monitor, Newsday, The Arizona Republic, St. Petersburg Times, and USA Today. He has written entries for the Encyclopedia Britannica, Encyclopedia Americana, and the Dictionary of Virginia Biography. He is Senior Writer, Arts Editor editor and columnist for The VVA Veteran, the magazine published by Vietnam Veterans of America. From 2008-2015 he taught U.S. history at Lord Fairfax Community College in Warrenton, Virginia.
He has been interviewed many times on radio and television, including on The Today Show, CNN, MSNBC, Fox News, Discovery Channel, The History Channel, History Detectives, All Things Considered, Talk of the Nation, To The Point, Morning Edition, The Diane Rehm Show, The BBC NewsHour, RTV-1, Russian television, Irish Radio, and CBC (Canada). He has presented papers, chaired panels at academic conferences, and spoken to students at American University, Appalachian State University, the College of William and Mary, the Foxcroft School, George Mason University, Georgetown University, George Washington University, Lynchburg College, Salisbury State University, Sweet Briar College, Texas Tech University, Tulane University, the University of Maryland, the University of Massachusetts, Boston, University of Miami, and University of Notre Dame.
He was elected to the Board of Directors of the Biographers International Organization in 2013. Since the early 1990s he has been active in many non-profit groups. That includes board memberships on the Middleburg (Virginia) Library Advisory Board (President and Vice President), the Loudoun County (Virginia) Library Board of Trustees, the Library of Virginia Foundation (Treasurer), the Virginia State Library Board, the YMCA of Loudoun County (Virginia), the Goose Creek Association (Secretary), and the Mosby Heritage Area Association (Treasurer, President).
He graduated from George Washington University in 1967. After serving in the U.S. Army from 1967-69, including a year in the Vietnam War, he received his honorable discharge and went on to earn a Masters Degree in history from George Washington University in 1971. He lives in Loudoun County, Virginia.
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