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About the Author

Jim Bendat graduated from Northwestern University and Loyola Law School, and he worked as a lawyer with the Los Angeles County Public Defender’s office from 1978 through 2013. His works have appeared in the New Republic, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, Baltimore Sun, and, and he covered the 1990 NCAA Final Four and three NBA Finals for Reuters. Since his first publication on presidential inauguration history in 2000, he has been featured as an inaugural historian by all of the major networks in the United States, as well as in Canada and the United Kingdom. He has worked as a correspondent at four recent inaugurations, for CNN, MSNBC, and British networks ITV and Sky News. Additionally, Democracy's Big Day was featured in a front-page New York Times story on January 28, 2009.

Why write a book about inauguration history?  Here's how Jim answers that question:  "I have a hobby of collecting sports programs. Within that collection, I had a couple of inauguration programs that people had given me. When I learned about eBay in 1999, one day I typed in the word 'inauguration.' This search revealed a large number of inauguration programs. I began to bid on them and acquire them. When they arrived, I read them in detail. They were filled with history; particularly with great vignettes that I realized not too many people knew. I felt that, if I put those stories together, it could become a unique and fun book!"

Jim's expertise on the subject of inauguration history has been demonstrated on the Internet, in newspapers, and on radio and television.  Here are some examples:

Watch Jim's 2001 interview with Fox News Channel. He discusses inauguration history and provides a number of amusing anecdotes (8:31):

Read the transcript from the live chat with Jim Bendat on January 18, 2001.

Jim is interviewed by MSNBC's Ashleigh Banfield along the inaugural parade route on January 20, 2001. They discuss George W. Bush's inauguration, preview that night's inaugural balls, and talk about inaugurations of the past (4:06):

Here's an op-ed column about presidential inauguration history that Jim wrote for the Baltimore Sun.

Jim sets the scene leading up to the swearing-in of George W. Bush in 2005 to the ITV British television audience (2:27):

When former first lady Lady Bird Johnson died in 2007, Jim was interviewed by CBS Radio about her role in presidential inauguration history (0:59):

While working as a guest commentator for Britain's Sky News, Jim helped describe the scene as dignitaries arrived at Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration ceremony (9:08):

On Inauguration Day in 2013, Jim was a guest on the Dennis Miller Radio Show. Here's the interview (7:18):
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Shortly before Donald Trump's 2017 inauguration, Jim Bendat wrote "Five Myths about Presidential Inaugurations" for the Washington Post.

On Inauguration Day in 2017, Jim contributed this piece on the history of the inaugural oath for

For media interviews with author Jim Bendat:

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