Keeper Of History

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Rick Atkinson pictured here on assignment in Iraq, will receive the Peggy v. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award on Dec. 5. Photo Courtesy of Tulsa Library Trust.
Rick Atkinson pictured here on assignment in Iraq, will recieve the Peggy v. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award on Dec. 5. Photo Courtesy of Tulsa Library Trust.
Rick Atkinson pictured here on assignment in Iraq, will recieve the Peggy v. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award on Dec. 5. Photo Courtesy of Tulsa Library Trust.

[dropcap]Growing[/dropcap] up the son of a U.S. Army officer, Rick Atkinson always assumed he would follow in his father’s footsteps regarding his career choice.

“I had an appointment to West Point, having given very little thought as a teenager to alternatives,” says Atkinson, a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author, former journalist and military historian. “Not long before I was to get on the bus to report for Beast Barracks – the first summer before plebe year – I thought better of it. I saved the Army a lot of trouble.”

Though he did not serve in the military, Atkinson did choose a path immersed in it.

“When I began working at