About the National Archives

Don W. Wilson, Seventh Archivist of the United States (Archivist: 1987–1993)

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Portrait of Don W. Wilson Seventh Archivist of the United States, 1987-1993.

Don W. Wilson (December 17, 1942 – ) was the seventh Archivist of the United States. Wilson was born on December 17, 1942, in Clay Center, KS. Wilson earned his B.A. from Washburn University in Topeka, KS, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in history from the University of Cincinnati, OH. He served on the history faculties at the University of Michigan and Washburn University and worked as a research professor at the Center for Presidential Studies at Texas A&M University. Wilson also worked at the Kansas State Historical Society and the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.

Wilson started his National Archives career at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and in 1981 became the first Director of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library. In 1987 President Ronald Reagan nominated and the U.S. Senate confirmed Wilson to be the first Archivist of the United States after the National Archives regained its independent agency status in 1985. During Wilson's tenure, The National Archives at College Park ("Archives II") was built, and the National Archives Foundation was created. After resigning as Archivist in 1993, Wilson became the Executive Director of the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation, and in 2009 Wilson became the President and C.E.O. of the Woodrow Wilson Library and Museum.

Learn more about Wilson in the blog post: Don Wilson: Embracing Independence.