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James Sterling Young, 85, directed oral histories of Presidents Carter, Reagan, Bush and Clinton

In this phoprovided by White House President Barack Obamparticipates an interview with James Sterling Young for Edward M. Kennedy Oral

In this photo provided by the White House, President Barack Obama participates in an interview with James Sterling Young for the Edward M. Kennedy Oral History Project, in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, on May 17, 2010. Young, who founded the nation's only oral history program focused on American presidents at the University of Virginia's Miller Center, has died. He was 85. The Miller Center announced Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, that Miller died Aug. 8 at his home in Albemarle County. (AP Photo/The White House, Pete Souza) ORG XMIT: WX107

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Updated: September 18, 2013 6:04AM



CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — James Sterling Young, who founded the nation’s only oral history program focused on American presidents at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, has died. He was 85.

The Miller Center announced this week that Mr. Miller died Aug. 8 at his home in rural Albemarle County.

At the Miller Center, Mr. Young directed oral histories of the presidencies of Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, and on former Sen. Edward Kennedy. Kennedy based his memoir, “True Compass,” on dozens of interviews with Mr. Young.

Mr. Young recorded more than 400 oral history sessions for the Miller Center’s various projects, current Presidential Oral History Program chair Russell Riley said in a statement.

After leaving the U.S. Army, Mr. Young received his bachelor’s degree from Princeton. He received a doctorate from Columbia University in 1964, staying at the school as a professor and then an administrator until 1978. That’s when he came to the University of Virginia as research program director at the recently established Miller Center. He taught courses on the American presidency and founded the oral history program.

Mr. Young’s book, “The Washington Community, 1800-1828,” was awarded the Columbia University Bancroft Prize.

AP



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