Honorary Degrees

Honorary Degrees

Louis (Lou) Cannon
  • Louis "Lou" Cannon
Louis "Lou" Cannon

Journalist/Author

California State University Channel Islands

Louis "Lou" Cannon is widely considered the nation's leading authority on the career and administrations of President Ronald Reagan. He covered politics for The Washington Post for 26 years as a political reporter, White House correspondent, columnist and Los Angeles bureau chief.

Mr. Cannon was born in New York City and raised in Reno, Nevada. He attended the University of Nevada in Reno and San Francisco State College. After service in the U.S. Army he became a reporter covering Reagan's first years as governor of California for the San Jose Mercury-News. In 1972, Mr. Cannon began working for The Washington Post as a political reporter. During the Reagan presidency, he served as the senior White House correspondent and wrote a weekly syndicated column.

Mr. Cannon has written five books about Mr. Reagan, including the acclaimed President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime, originally published by Simon and Schuster in 1991. Subsequently, he was a contributing editor and then chief executive officer of California Journal, an acclaimed non-partisan magazine that was published from 1970 to 2005. He is now editorial adviser to State Net Capitol Journal in Sacramento for which he writes a monthly "Cannon Perspective" column. Mr. Cannon has lectured on media issues for many years, and thousands of college students have benefited from his wisdom. Mr. Cannon has received many distinctions from several higher education institutions in California. CSU Channel Islands was pleased to host Mr. Cannon on campus in fall 2012 when he served as the moderator for "Politics to the Extreme," a conference featuring presentations, discussion and debate about polarization in American politics.

On a national level, Mr. Cannon has won numerous awards including the White House Correspondents Association's coveted Aldo Beckman award (1984) for overall excellence in presidential coverage, and the first Gerald R. Ford Prize (1988) for distinguished reporting on the Nixon, Ford and Reagan presidencies. He continues to serve the state of California and the country as a lecturer and an unblinking writer on the presidency, the media, California politics and police issues.

In recognition of his commitment and service to our democracy, his support of the education of college students, and as a tribute to this man's remarkable life, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University Channel Islands are proud to confer upon Louis "Lou" Cannon an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters.