Kenton Bird attended his first Borah Symposium in 1974 as a journalism student at the University of Idaho. Nearly 50 years later, he is a professor of journalism at the UI School of Journalism and Mass Media. He was director of the School from 2003 to 2015 and director of General Education from 2015 to 2017.
Bird earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the UI, where he was editor of the Argonaut. He later completed an M.Ed. in journalism history from University College, Cardiff, Wales, and a Ph.D. in American Studies from Washington State University.
Before pursuing an academic career, Bird was a reporter and editor of newspapers in Moscow, Lewiston, Sandpoint and Kellogg, Idaho. As a congressional fellow of the American Political Science Association, he worked as a congressional staff member in Washington, D.C.
Bird is co-author of a new biography of former House Speaker Tom Foley, The Man in the Middle, published earlier this year by the University Press of Kansas.