- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 2, 2004

William Manchester, known for his biographies of 20th century leaders, died at his Middletown, Conn., home Tuesday of cancer at 82.

Mr. Manchester, a historian, was known for writing more than a dozen books, including biographies of Winston Churchill, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, John F. Kennedy and the Rockefellers.

“He wrote histories or biographies that just take you right there and illuminate, teach, enlighten and anger,” Paul Reid told the Associated Press. Mr. Reid was selected last month to help finish the third volume of Mr. Manchester’s Churchill biography.

Mr. Manchester was born into a working-class family in 1922 and grew up in industrial Attleboro, Mass. He enlisted in the Marines after the attack on Pearl Harbor and served in World War II.

He fought in the South Pacific and was wounded in combat at Guadalcanal. He recovered from his wounds along with Mr. Kennedy, and the two became friends.

Mr. Manchester completed a bachelor of arts degree at the University of Massachusetts in 1946 and a master’s degree from the University of Missouri in 1947. He married in 1948 and fathered three children.

He worked as a journalist for the next few years and published his first book, “Disturber of the Peace,” in 1951.

His friendship with Mr. Kennedy continued in the 1950s, and his frequent visits to the Kennedy family’s Hyannisport, Mass., compound gave him material for his 1962 book on Mr. Kennedy, “Portrait of a President.”

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