Robert Coles (b. 1929) is a child psychiatrist and professor emeritus of psychiatry and medical humanities at Harvard University where he was James Agee Professor of Social Ethics in the Graduate School of Education until his retirement in 2002. First appointed as a Teaching Fellow in Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School in 1955, Coles' career at Harvard University spans 47 years of teaching, writing, and service to communities of hard-pressed people, especially children, from Alaska to the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. Coles is a Pulitzer Prize winning author, a MacArthur Foundation Fellow, and a recipient of the prestigious Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor. He has received more than 60 honorary degrees and written more than 80 books. Coles is best known for work that explores children's moral, political, and spiritual sensibilities, but he is also a prominent and eloquent spokesman for community service, civil rights, and the public responsibilities of academics, writers, and intellectuals, with subjects of books like "A Call to Service", "The Secular Mind", "Lives of Moral Leadership", "Bruce Springsteen's America", and, most recently, "Political Leadership: Stories of Power and Politics from Literature and Life". His work includes literary criticism, biographies, reviews, poetry, social commentary, and children's books. In addition, Coles is founder and editor of the award winning documentary magazine DoubleTake, and the author of numerous works of documentary nonfiction including "The Story of Ruby Bridges" and "The Old Ones of New Mexico" as well as a significant study of the theory and practice of documentary inquiry, "Doing Documentary Work". Numerous critical studies stress Coles representative status as a leading thinker, writer, and activist in the American grain. A pragmatic moralist, Coles bears witness to the reality of pursuing a moral life at work in the world, while his own life's work reflects the value of, and need for a literate, compassionate, and informed understanding of that world.