James MacGregor Burns is one the leading historians in the United States. He is noted for his two-volume biography of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The second volume earned him the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. His first experience upon graduation from Williams College (also the alma mater of Danbury’s most noted historian, John Toland) was as one of the first combat historians for the United States Historical Branch. He served on Saipan, Guam and Okinawa (he was awarded a Bronze Star as well as four Battle Stars). His main task was to gather historical materials from all levels of combatants for a subsequent official history of the conflict. He ascribed the American victory to superior communications, transport but above all to crushing firepower.