GROVE CITY — For decades, Grove City College professor Paul Kengor has been regarded among the conservative political movement’s leading voices.
The announcement of his selection as editor of American Spectator, one of the United States’ leading conservative publications, reinforces that reputation. Kengor, author of many definitive works on former President Ronald Reagan, including, “God and Ronald Reagan: A Spiritual Life,” was selected for the position by American Spectator editor and longtime editor-in-chief, R. Emmett Tyrell Jr.
Kengor, a frequent contributor and senior editor of American Spectator, was part of a search team to find a replacement for Tyrell, who said he came to a decision while meeting with the Grove City College professor.
“Paul and I conferred regularly, and then, last spring, while we were going over our list of candidates for the job at my favorite restaurant, a lightbulb went off in my cerebrum,” Tyrell said, as quoted in a Grove City College press release. “‘Paul,’ said I, ‘why don’t you take the job?’ Paul took a sip of his wine and looked at me as if to declare, ‘I thought you’d never ask.’ After a three-year search, we had our editor. He was at my elbow all along,” Tyrrell recalled.
As an condition of Kengor’s acceptance as American Spectator editor, his duties with the outlet will not affect his positions either at Grove City College or with the Institute for Faith and Freedom, the college’s conservative think tank.
Grove City College President Paul McNulty said Kengor’s selection will benefit both the college and American Spectator.
“Paul Kengor is a nationally recognized thought leader and advocate for the ideas and values that define conservatism, and which are foundational to Grove City College,” McNulty said as quoted in the press release. The American Spectator has provided an important forum for those ideas for more than a half a century. The College will now benefit from a closer relationship between one of our leading scholars and one of the country’s most influential outlets for robust and fulsome discussion of politics, culture, and society.”
Tyrrell introduced Kengor as The American Spectator’s new editor at the magazine’s 54th Annual Robert L. Bartley Gala last month. In accepting the position, Kengor said the American Spectator was a formative influence on his own political views.
“What really stand out in the life of The American Spectator are the printed words. That is what I initially saw when I first opened the pages in the late 1980s … I laughed and laughed and could not stop laughing. And as I laughed, I learned. I learned ideas and learned great writing,” Kengor said, as quoted in the press release.
“It was therapeutic. It helped me keep my sanity in the academic asylum … By the end of it, I too was a conservative. Like The American Spectator, I learned to have fun boldly being a conservative.”