Honorary Degree Recipient
Doctor of Humane Letters
Adam Clymer has been keeping Americans informed about their government for more than four decades as one of the nation’s premiere political reporters. Having spent the last 26 years of his career as chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times covering Congress, the White House and presidential campaigns, Clymer established himself as one of the great political journalists of his generation.
Recipient of the American Political Science Association’s 2003 Carey McWilliams Award for distinguished political reporting and the 1993 Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for distinguished reporting on Congress, Clymer has authored books on Ronald Reagan and Edward Kennedy. The late Lars-Erik Nelson, former New York Daily News Washington correspondent and nationally-renowned journalist, called Clymer “one of a dying generation of absolutely straight shooters. There are others on the campaign trail that will put their own attitudes into a story. Clymer plays it straight.”
Born in New York City on April 27, 1937, Clymer earned his bachelor’s degree from Harvard in 1958 and did post-graduate work at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, on a Frank Knox Fellowship in 1959. He began his journalistic career in 1960, working as a reporter for the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia. After stints at the Baltimore Sun and the New York Daily News, Clymer joined the staff of The New York Times as a reporter and editor in 1977. He would rise to the posts of Washington editor, then chief Washington correspondent.
Clymer’s book, Edward M. Kennedy: A Biography, was based on years of interviews with Kennedy. In 1981, Clymer co-authored Reagan: The Man, the President with fellow New York Times journalists Hedrick Smith, Leonard Silk, Robert Lindsey, and Richard Burt.
Adam Clymer and his wife, Ann, have been strong supporters of the University of Vermont. In memory of their daughter, Jane emily Clymer, who studied at UVM, the Clymers created an endowment that funds women in their junior year at UVM in Arts and Sciences who have shown academic promise and demonstrated a record of caring for others. The Clymers make it a priority to meet each scholar and stay in touch with them long after they have graduated.
Adam Clymer has also given freely of his time, sharing his experience and expertise through guest lectures. Since his retirement from The New York Times in 2003, Clymer has been a visiting scholar and political director of the National Annenberg Election Survey.