An author, scholar, professor, and history commentator for CBS news, he also served as co-editor of Vanity Fair and American Heritage. He received the Ann M. Sperber Award for his 2012 biography of Walter Cronkite; his other works include biographical pieces on Rosa Parks and Jimmy Carter.
He attended Ohio State University and Georgetown University. He later taught at the University of New Orleans, Rice University, and Tulane University.
He published his book, Tour of Duty: John Kerry and the Vietnam War, in 2004.
He was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He later settled in Austin, Texas and had three children with his wife, Anne.