Rick Beyer is a best-selling author, an award winning documentary producer, and a long-time history enthusiast. With a take on history that is both humorous and illuminating, he has appeared on CBS News, MSNBC, CNN, The Discovery Channel, NPR and Fox News.
Rick wrote and produced the PBS documentary The Ghost Army, which premiered on PBS in 2013. It has been honored with a CINE Golden Eagle and audience awards at several film festivals. TV Guide called it "entrancing," while the LA Times referred to it as "fascinating, detailed, and oddly delightful." He also co-authored (with Elizabeth Sayles) the New York Times besteller The Ghost Army of World War II. Rick spearheaded the nine-year effort to have COngress award the Ghost Army a Congressional Gold Medal. that legislation as signed by the president in 2022, and the awarded ceremony is in March 2024.
Rick's most recent book, Rivals Unto Death was published in 2017. It is a dual biography of Alexander Hamilton and Aaron. It explores the story of their 30 year rivalry that ended in a deadly duel on the cliffs of Weekhawken, NJ. He is also the author of the popular Greatest Stories Never Told series of history books. Titles include The Greatest Stories Never Told, The Greatest War Stories Never Told, Greatest Presidential Stories Never Told, The Greatest Science Stories Never Told and Greatest Music Stories Never Told. Each contains 100 tales from history to "astonish, bewilder and stupefy." The Chicago Tribune described the first book as "an old fashioned sweetshop full of tasty morsels," and the Army Times said of the second book: "Just when you thought you knew everything about everything, along comes Rick Beyer to prove you wrong." Rick is also the author of the autobiographical non-fiction story A Plate of Peas which appears in the anthology I Thought My Father Was God and several other short story collections.
He has produced films for PBS, The History Channel, National Geographic, the Smithsonian Institution, Historic Mount Vernon and others. His documentary credits include Expedition Apocalypse, The Wright Challenge, Secrets of Jamestown, The Patent Files and Timelab 2000, an acclaimed collection of 200 history minutes hosted by Sam Waterston.
A popular speaker who has engaged numerous audiences, Rick’s topics include Artists of Deception: The Ghost Army of WWII, Rivals Unto Death: Hamilton and Burr, A Long Strange Trip: Tales from Music History, Getting to Eureka!, Confessions of a History Filmmaker, The Battle after the Battle: Lexington vs. Concord and the fight for Revolutionary Fame, and Rick’s Rules of History. His presentations are spiked with humor, creative visuals and quirky props. They have proven popular at conferences, corporations, universities, libraries and other venues. Venues include the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC and Music Teachers National Association Annual Conference in Los Angeles, CA.
Rick has written for The Daily Beast, History Channel Magazine, Politico.com, America in WWII, the Princeton Alumni Weekly, and other publications. He has also worked as a radio reporter, a TV news producer, an ad agency creative director, and a janitor (not in that order). He has curated a Ghost Army traveling museum exhibit, several Ghost Army art exhibits, and multiple exhibits for the Lexington Historical Society. And here's a few other things he's pleased to say he has done:
•Camp for ten days in the mosquito-infested Siberian Wilderness
•Flee New Orleans the day before Katrina
•Interview Jimmy Carter in the White House
•Climb Mt. Washington 5 times
•Get called stupid by David Brinkley
•Be consoled by Mary Tyler Moore
•Marry a beautiful woman during a lightning storm
A graduate of Dartmouth College, Rick currently lives in Chicago, Illinois with his wife (see above.).