The National Park Service (NPS) bestowed the highest honor available to civilians to Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and author David McCullough on October 4, 2016. The NPS named him an “Honorary National Park Ranger” at a ceremony on the Boston Common.
The National Park Service reserves this honor for individuals who make significant and sustained contributions to America’s National Parks. Previous recipients include filmmaker Ken Burns and former President Jimmy Carter.
McCullough’s many professional and personal contributions have helped draw attention to many of the historical sites and parks preserved by the NPS. The author’s research and writing mostly focused on significant American achievements and important figures in the country’s history.
According to an NPS press release on the presentation of the Honorary National Park Ranger Award, McCullough “enlightened visitors to the shared history” found at national park sites throughout the US.
In addition to his writing, McCullough narrated a number of documentaries focused on historical subjects. Working with fellow Honoree Ken Burns, McCullough’s involvement in “The Statue of Liberty” and “The Civil War” highlighted important stories and resources from national parks.
McCullough is also generous with his time. He speaks about his subjects at national park events and also participates in book signings that benefit national parks.
The author and historian received yet another honor at the same time. The Saint-Gaudens Memorial honored him with a medal for his work on behalf of New Hampshire’s Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site. McCullough frequented the famed memorial several times while performing research for his book “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris.”
McCullough leaves a significant legacy by inspiring generations of Americans to learn about and visit the country’s national parks.