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Brad  Meltzer

Brad Meltzer

Best-Selling Author & “America’s Historian”

Brad Meltzer

Best-Selling Author & “America’s Historian”


History. Legacy. Character. Great leadership. Brad Meltzer draws upon the themes of his best-selling books and popular television shows, challenging audiences to look at their lives, work and mission through the lens of legacy. Brad’s highly inspiring keynotes showcase the motivational stories of both everyday heroes and history-making leaders. His moving message: Every life makes history. Ordinary people can change the world. If you can impact just one person, you won’t just live a good life. You will live forever.

Named as both "America’s Historian" and one of "Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors," Brad is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lightning Rod and twelve other bestselling thrillers. He also writes non-fiction books like The First Conspiracy and The Lincoln Conspiracy, and the Ordinary People Change the World kids book series, which inspired the Emmy-nominated TV show on PBS KIDS, Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum.

In addition to fiction, Brad is one of the only authors to ever have books on the bestseller list in non-fiction children’s books and even comic books, for which he won the prestigious Eisner Award. He is also the host of Brad Meltzer’s Lost History and Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on the History Channel, which he used to find the missing 9/11 flag that the firefighters raised at Ground Zero. He later unveiled it for display at the 9/11 Museum in New York. Brad was selected to join America250 to help commemorate America’s 250th anniversary in 2026, and will be serving on the Arts & Culture Advisory Council along with Debbie Allen, Cal Ripken and other leaders and luminaries.

An inspirational voice, Brad has earned a reputation for working closely with clients, speaking authentically from the heart, and receiving both high praise and standing ovations from Fortune 500 companies. Infusing humor and insights into engaging, highly moving narratives, his thought-provoking talks truly connect with audiences. Brad inspires us to examine our lives, shape our legacies and discover the potential within all of us to change the world. As he says, "Stories aren’t the beauty of what did happen. They’re the beauty of what could happen."

Speaker Videos

TEDx: How To Write Your Own Obituary

Keep Transforming, Never Be Immutable

Turning Fear Into Fuel

TED-Ed: Write you story, change history

The Lightning Rod | GMA

The Lightning Rod Reveals What’s in Secret U.S. Government Warehouses | Late Night with Seth Meyers

The Secret Message of "The Escape Artist"

The Sacred Process at Dover Mortuary

Escaping History

Eisner Award Ceremony

The Greatest Risk You'll Ever Take - Michigan Law Commencement 2016

2010 National Book Festival Speech

Heroes For My Son

Historic Heroes Come to Life

Speech Topics

Leadership Lessons From History’s Greatest Leaders

The best Presidents in history aren’t the ones who make the best speeches or the most promises — they’re the ones who, when faced with a great disaster, can pivot, adapt, and deal with that disaster, making them the perfect person for that moment in time.

#1 New York Times Bestselling Author Brad Meltzer has written non-fiction books about George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Franklin Roosevelt. Now, he’s teaching their most vital lessons. Best of all, Meltzer has studied them in a way few others have, at the earliest parts of their careers.

  • In his first battles of the Revolutionary War, George Washington was out-maneuvered by the British. He didn’t have the experience of the British generals. It’s a moment George Washington where should’ve died. Instead, Washington did the best thing any leader can do in an impossible situation: he improvised and pivoted, taking care of his men first…and then himself.
  • In his first days after being elected, Abraham Lincoln was the most hated man in America. But instead of dividing the country, Lincoln took key and vital steps to bring the country together.
  • During WWII, FDR’s greatest strength was his own belief in his ability to know and charm both his allies and enemies. That “charm offensive” is what untied Churchill, Stalin and FDR as The Big Three, changing the world forever.

As Meltzer proves, leadership isn’t about being in charge—it’s about taking care of those in your charge. Current former Presidents have invited Meltzer to private meals and discussions at the White House and to their residences. Now you’ll hear this lost history firsthand.

What’s Your Legacy?

In these tumultuous times, when employees and top leaders are managing through exhaustion and burnout in a remote environment, this is one of the most important questions you can ask.  Brad Meltzer uses his trademark storytelling to highlight the importance of this message on what really matters. It will leave the audience refocused and reenergized around the fundamental reminder of the very source of their resilience in the first place: their legacy. 

While saving the house where Superman was created, Brad Meltzer started a quest to find out what his legacy might be. Hear the funny, inspiring, and always entertaining story that will never let you look at your life the same way again. Weaving together the historical stories of Abraham Lincoln, Amelia Earhart, and yes, Superman, Meltzer helps you reevaluate what’s truly important: family, friends, and those whole lives you touch by making an impact in your workplace. Are your employees and top leadership stressed out? Give them the one thing money can’t buy: Help them reveal their legacy.

The Greatest Risk You’ll Ever Take

What’s the greatest risk you’ll ever take in your life? It’s admitting what you want. We all know what we want. But we rarely admit it. Why? Because putting yourself out there—especially emotionally—is scary. If you admit what you want, you risk not getting it. And failure terrifies us. So how do you actually pull it off? How do you take the greatest risk you’ll ever take in your life and admit what you want? You need to do three things: Remember what you love, remember what got you’re here, and most important, remember what terrifies you. See the commencement address that will leave you breathless.

How To Be A Hero

On the night Brad Meltzer’s first son was born, he began collecting heroes for his boy. And for nearly a decade, Meltzer studied these heroes throughout history. From Thomas Jefferson (who had the humility to never publicly take credit for writing the Declaration of Independence) to the Wright Brothers (who brought extra materials to every test flight, anticipating their own failure) to George Washington to Rosa Parks to Mr. Rogers, Meltzer reminds us that their stories are not about fame-- they're about what we are all capable of on our very best days.  See why Meltzer’s book on heroes-- from Jackie Robinson, to Abraham Lincoln, to Eleanor Roosevelt-shot up the inspirational bestseller list.  Let Meltzer teach you how to find the real hero in your life.  And the power of never letting anyone tell you ‘No.’

Don’t Let Anyone Tell You ‘No’

Brad’s family moved from Brooklyn to Miami with only $1,200 to their name.  A decade later, he got 24 rejection letters for his first novel.  A year after that, he started his climb to the #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller List and his own television show.  The adventure between is a classic tale with a truly incredible ending.