Spring Commencement Speaker

Chris Matthews
Host of Hardball on MSNBC

Chris Matthews

Chris Matthews is a television news anchor with remarkable depth of experience and has distinguished himself as a broadcast journalist, newspaper bureau chief, presidential speechwriter, congressional staffer and best-selling author. He has followed American politics since the first Eisenhower campaign in the 1950s.

Mr. Matthews began his television career in 1994 as host of a two-hour nightly program on the NBC-owned America’s Talking network. In 1997, he launched “Hardball,” now on MSNBC. He has been on the air every weekday night since.

He worked for 15 years as a newspaper journalist, including 13 as a Washington bureau chief for the San Francisco Examiner (1987-2000), and two as a national columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. In this capacity he covered some of the great historic events of the late 20th century, including the fall of the Berlin Wall and the landmark 1994 South African election, where South Africans of all races could cast ballots.

Earlier, Mr. Matthews completed a 15 year career in public service, during which he worked as a presidential speechwriter during the Carter administration and top aide to longtime speaker of the house Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill, Jr.

He is the author of several best-selling books, including Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked (2013); Jack Kennedy: Elusive Hero (2011); The Hardball Handbook (2009); Life’s a Campaign: What Politics Has Taught Me About Friendship, Rivalry, Reputation, and Success (2007); American: Beyond Our Grandest Notions (2002); Kennedy & Nixon: The Rivalry that Shaped Postwar America (1996) and Hardball: How Politics Is Played, Told By One Who Knows the Game (1988).

Mr. Matthews is a 1967 graduate of Holy Cross College and has been a visiting fellow at Harvard University's Institute of Politics. He served two years in the Peace Corps in Swaziland.