SOURCE: Yahoo News (3-24-06)
Chernow's "The House of Morgan" won the National Book Award. His biographies "Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr." and "Alexander Hamilton" were nominees for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
"I am delighted to assume the presidency of PEN American Center at what is probably the most exciting and dynamic moment in its recent history," Chernow said in a statement Friday, citing the center's advocacy of freedom of expression and encouragement of writers overseas.
Michael Roberts, PEN's executive director, said Chernow's "master historian's capacity to keep track of a vast range of highly detailed subjects and a colorful panorama of interesting and diverse characters" would serve him well in the position.
Chernow succeeds Salman Rushdie, who has held the position for the past two years.
PEN is an independent organization that promotes free expression, defends writers in legal disputes and sponsors literary programs.