Charles Ponce de Leon

Charles L. Ponce de Leon, Ph.D.

Dr. Ponce de Leon

BA, UC Santa Barbara
Ph.D., Rutgers University (United States History)
Contact Information
562 985-4425
Office: FO2-214
California State University, Long Beach
1250 Bellflower Blvd., MS 1601
Long Beach, CA 90840-1601

Bio and Research Interests

Born and raised in Palo Alto, California, I received my BA from UC Santa Barbara, where I was a college journalist and worked in community radio. I went to graduate school at Rutgers University and received a Ph.D. in United States History. I have taught at Princeton University and Purchase College, a branch of the State University of New York. In 2008, I moved to CSULB, where I am now Professor of History and American Studies.

I am a specialist in U.S. cultural and intellectual history. My fields of expertise include mass media and the popular culture industries, American intellectual life, and modern U.S. political culture. I have written books on the origins of celebrity in the U.S. and Elvis Presley and articles and review-essays on a variety of subjects. My forthcoming book, a history of television news in the U.S., will be published by the University of Chicago Press.


Ph.D. Rutgers University B.A. University of California, Santa Barbara

Selected Publications

Fortunate Son: The Life of Elvis Presley. New York: Hill and Wang, 2006.

Self-Exposure: Human-Interest Journalism and the Emergence of Celebrity in America, 1890-1940. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2001.

“How Pivotal Were the Seventies?,” Reviews in American History 40 (March 2012): 128-138.

“Press and Politics,” in The Princeton Encyclopedia of American Political History. Michael Kazin, ed. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2009.

“The Man Nobody Knows: Charles A. Lindbergh and the Culture of Celebrity,” in Dominick A. Pisano, ed. The Airplane in American Culture. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2003: 75-104.


  • History 173: Recent United States History
  • History 380A: The United States in the Liberal Era, 1945-1968
  • History 380B: The United States Since 1968
  • History 499: Senior Seminar
  • American Studies 351: Celebrity in American Culture