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Ben Wattenberg

About Ben Wattenberg

Ben J. Wattenberg is a Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. He is the moderator of the weekly PBS television program Think Tank with Ben Wattenberg.

Wattenberg's current project is a book tentatively entitled The New Demography:  How Depopulation Will Shape the Future. The book deals with dramatically falling fertility rates in both the rich and poor nations, and speculates on the geo-political, economic, commercial and cultural implications.

Wattenberg’s most recent major project was The First Measured Century, an effort to understand, explain and dramatize American life through the lens of social and economic data. It included a three-hour prime time PBS television special (Original Air Date: December 20, 2000) and a major reference book, entitled The First Measured Century: An Illustrated Guide to Trends in America 1900-2000 (AEI Press) co-authored with Theodore Caplow and Louis Hicks.

Wattenberg is the author of eight additional books, including Values Matter Most (1995), The First Universal Nation (1991), The Birth Dearth (1987), The Good News is the Bad News is Wrong (1984), The Real America, (1974) and co-author with Richard M. Scammon of The Real Majority (1970), considered the best-selling "bible" of the 1970 and 1972 elections, This U.S.A. (1965) and a novel Against All Enemies, co-authored with Ervin Duggan.

He has been the host-essayist for many PBS television specials, including Values Matter Most in 1996, The Grandchild Gap (concerning falling fertility rates), America's Number One, What Next?, The Stockholder Society, A Third Choice, which explores how third parties have shaped American politics and American life, The Democrats, and weekly PBS documentary series In Search of the Real America and Ben Wattenberg At Large.

Wattenberg was an aide and speech writer to President Lyndon B. Johnson from 1966 to 1968. He has served as an advisor to both Senator Hubert Humphrey's race for the Senate in 1970 and Senator Henry Jackson's contest for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1972 and 1976, years when Mr. Wattenberg also helped write the Democratic National Platform.

Wattenberg was appointed by President Carter to serve on the Presidential Advisory Board for Ambassadorial Appointments, and as a public member of the American delegation to the Madrid Conference on Human Rights. In 1981, he was appointed by President Reagan to the Board of Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, serving for ten years and becoming vice-chairman. In 1991 he was appointed by President Bush to the Task Force on U.S. Government International Broadcasting. In 1992, he was appointed by Speaker Thomas Foley to the Commission on Broadcasting to the People's Republic of China.

Ben J. Wattenberg graduated from Hobart College in 1955, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Hobart in 1975. He was born in 1933 in the Bronx, New York.

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