Harold Holzer (born February 5, 1949) is a scholar on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the American Civil War Era. He serves as co-chairman of the United States Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, appointed to the commission by President Bill Clinton and elected co-chair by his fellow commissioners; and as Senior Vice President for External Affairs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, where he is responsible for marketing, communications, government relations, internal communications, visitor services, and multicultural audience development at the nation's largest art institution.
In his work as a historian, Holzer has authored, co-authored, and edited 34 books, as well as more than 430 articles for magazines and journals, plus chapters and forewords for 39 additional books. He is a frequent guest on television (C-Span, PBS, A&E, The History Channel, most recently on "Bill Moyers Journal"), lectures, and has curated five museum exhibitions of original art, including three shows of Lincoln art at the Lincoln Museum in Fort Wayne. He serves as guest historian for the forthcoming (October 2009) exhibition "Lincoln and New York" at the New-York Historical Society. He has performed, throughout the nation, stage programs entitled "Lincoln Seen and Heard," "The Lincoln Family Album" and "Lincoln in American Memory"--which combine period pictures with authentic words—with such actors as Sam Waterston, Liam Neeson, Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, and Dianne Wiest. The programs have been staged at such venues as: the White House, the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library, The William J. Clinton Presidential Library, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Library of Congress, the Lincoln Association of Los Angeles, The Lincoln Forum at Gettysburg, and Ford's Theatre, site of the Lincoln assassination.
Before joining the Metropolitan Museum in 1992, Holzer was special counselor to the New York State economic development director in the administration of Governor Mario M. Cuomo (with whom he co-edited the 1993 book, "Lincoln on Democracy," which has now been translated into four languages). Before that, he was director of communications at WNET/Channel 13, the flagship PBS station in New York, and in the 1970s, served as a political press secretary—first to Rep. Bella S. Abzug (D-NY) in Congress and in her campaigns for the U. S. Senate and Mayor of New York; and in the 1977 general election mayoral campaign of Mr. Cuomo. Holzer started his career as a reporter, later editor, for the onetime news weekly the "Manhattan Tribune."