Previously Newsweek's editor-in-chief, Jon Meacham is an executive editor and vice president at Random House. His books include American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House, American Gospel, and Franklin and Winston: An Intimate Portrait of An Epic Friendship.

Born in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Meacham was salutatorian when he graduated from the University of the South. He joined Newsweek soon after graduation and quickly worked his way up the ladder from writer to national affairs editor and then managing editor in 1998 at the age of twenty-nine. Eight years later he became the head honcho when he was promoted to editor-in-chief. However, when the paper was sold to the Washington Post Company in 2010, he was usurped by Tina Brown and joined Random House, where he has also been able to focus on his own work. He's written extensively for the New York Times, New York Times Book Review, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times Book Review and has written tomes focusing on subjects as diverse as the Civil War to gospel music. His most celebrated work to date has been American Lion which won the Pulitzer Prize for biography in 2009. [Image via Getty]