Ron Burgundy Almost Proposed To Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin

On this episode of The Ron Burgundy Podcast, Ron Burgundy unveils his new music review segment featuring Ariana Grande, and forgets who he’s supposed to be interviewing. He hopes it’s Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, but Carolina tells him that “her business manager said...you two were no longer on speaking terms.” Ron says that’s true, because he instigated a food fight while he was at a diner with her (“Boy can she talk...four sausage links and two pancake piles later, she’s still going on,” Ron remembers), but that if she ever wanted to rekindle their friendship, “there is literally nothing going on in my life right now that I would prioritize over breakfast.” Even so, Ron is excited to have Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian who has written several books about American presidents, on the show instead: “Honestly, we only got her for an interview because we lied and said this was NPR.” 

 

Doris and Ron aren’t exactly strangers; in fact, Ron wrote in his own memoirs about his seven-month affair with Doris, saying she helped him write the chapter on history: “Her dogged enthusiasm for the project was only outpaced by her enthusiasm for lovemaking,” he wrote, “which I could barely equal.” What Doris didn’t realize when they broke it off was that Ron was ready to propose to her. “I had a list of five women, and you were at the top of it,” he reveals. 

Perhaps his attraction is no great mystery; Doris is a Harvard graduate, bestselling author, avid baseball fan, and sports reporter who was the first female journalist allowed in the Boston Red Sox locker room. She’s also a great storyteller, which is a wonderful trait in a historian, and she satisfies Ron and Carolina’s curiosity about whether or not William Howard Taft really got stuck in a bathtub, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s cocktail parties, Lyndon Johnson’s amphibious car, and Babe Ruth’s eating habits. Eleanor Roosevelt, she tells Ron, “had weekly press conferences where the only rule was that only female reporters could come...All over the country, stuffy publishers had to hire their first female reporter. An entire generation got their start because of Eleanor Roosevelt.” Ron acknowledges that his past relationship with female reporters hasn’t always been the best, but, “I've learned that that many of the female reporters are our finest reporters,” he says, and it only took “a quick thirty years.” 

With her vast knowledge of history, Ron wonders, is Doris concerned about current events and the erosion of American democracy? She says that while “it’s really rough” for America right now, what gives her hope is that the citizens can always win the day. “It was the anti-slavery movement during the 19th century. It was the progressive movement at the turn of the 20th century...civil rights movement...women’s movement, environmental movement...now we need a movement for political reform,” she says. “The citizens are more active in politics than they've been for a while. That's my optimism about the country. We're not as fragile as people think we are, this democracy.” 

Join Ron, Carolina, and Doris Kearns Goodwin to learn more about Doris’s time working for Lyndon Johnson, the people she could never write about (“I never choose somebody that I don't want to live with over a period of time”), and her greatest fear, on this episode of The Ron Burgundy Podcast.

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