Craig Shirley; Author, Historian, Lecturer


Craig Shirley is the author of two critically praised bestselling books on President Reagan, Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign that Changed America and Reagan’s Revolution: The Untold Story of the Campaign That Started It All. His third book December 1941: 31 Days that Changed America and Saved the World has appeared multiple times on the New York Times bestselling lists in December 2011 and January 2012 and was named a finalist in the “History” category for ForeWord Reviews’ and the American Library Association’s “Book of the Year Awards.” Craig is the founder of Shirley & Banister Public Affairs, was chosen in 2005 by Springfield College as their Outstanding Alumnus, and has been named the First Reagan Scholar at Eureka College, Ronald Reagan’s alma mater, where he taught a course titled “Reagan 101.”

An outstanding athlete, he won nine varsity letters in high school, was named “Most Improved Athlete” his senior year, won the Cities League High School Championship in pole vaulting and later played lacrosse at Springfield.

His books have been hailed as the definitive works on the Gipper’s campaigns of 1976 and 1980. He is a member of the Board of Governors of the Reagan Ranch and has lectured at the Reagan Library, the FDR Library in Hyde Park, and the Dole Institute in Kansas.

Shirley, a widely sought after speaker and commentator, appears regularly on many network and cable shows including FOX News, MSNBC, CNN, ABC. He has also written extensively for the Washington Post, the Washington Examiner, the Washington Times, the Los Angeles Times, Town Hall, the Weekly Standard, Politico, Reuters and many other publications. He successfully predicted the results of the 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012 elections.

Craig Shirley also edited the book Coaching Youth Lacrosse for the Lacrosse Foundation. He was also the founder of the Ft. Hunt Youth Lacrosse League and coached there for 14 years.

He is now finishing Citizen Newt, a definitive biography of Speaker Newt Gingrich and a new book on Reagan’s post-presidency days titled Last Act: The Final Years and Emerging Legacy of Ronald Reagan. His future plans include work on three more Reagan books as well as a book about Dr. Howard Snyder, the personal physician to President Dwight Eisenhower and a book about the George Washington family.

Shirley and his wife, Zorine reside at “Trickle Down Point” on the Rappahannock River in Lancaster, Virginia, and are parents of four children, Matthew, Andrew, Taylor, and Mitchell. His varied interests include sailing, waterskiing, sport shooting, renovating buildings, and scuba diving. An accomplished carpenter, he has built two houses. Craig Shirley is also a member of the Reagan Alumni Association, Friends of Friendship Fire House, and the Fusionist Society. He was a decorated contract agent for the Central Intelligence Agency.


7 thoughts on “Craig Shirley; Author, Historian, Lecturer”

  1. I just finished December 1941 which is an incredible gift to any one interested in our country at the time. A most impressive book and the thought of the amount of research needed for it is overwhelming. Thank you, I think it is an important book.

  2. just reading “Reagan’s Revolution” and was wondering 10 years after writing it if you would say that today’s mainstream GOP is more like the mainstream GOP of 1976? with the Karl Roves and others bashing Ted Cruz and Rand Paul. just wondering

    i’m enjoying the book!

    1. Dear Mr. Miller,

      Thanks for writing. In some ways, the party is better off today than in the 1970’s but in too many ways, it is
      worse off. For instance, many have questioned the ethics and ideology of the consulting classes that have dominance over
      the national Republican Party.

      And in the same way the Republican Establishment despised Reagan in the 1970’s, they now despise the conservative Tea Party

      The good news is the tea party represents American conservatives, integrity and accountability and they are winning the debate.

      The bad news is they still don’t control the lever of power.


      Craig Shirley

  3. Mr. Shirley,

    When do you expect “The Last Act” to be released? I thoroughly enjoyed your first two Reagan books.

    Thank you,

    Mike Sebille

  4. When will your next Reagan book be released? Rendezvous with Destiny was a masterpiece and I know the Last Act will be as well.

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"There are no easy answers' but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right." – The Gipper