Richard Celeste publishes his autobiography, In the Heart of It All: An Unvarnished Account of My Life in Public Service
Late last year Exeter alumnus and Honorary Fellow Richard Celeste (1960, Modern History) published his fascinating autobiography, In the Heart of It All: An Unvarnished Account of My Life in Public Service. Published in November by The Kent State University Press, the writing of his autobiography was, according to himself, a project fifteen years in the making.
Celeste traces his life from his childhood in Lakewood, Ohio, to his student years at Yale and, later, as a Rhodes Scholar at Exeter College, right the way through his varied career, which has included serving as Governor of Ohio, director of the Peace Corps, America’s Ambassador to India, and president of Colorado College. From thrilling victories to disappointing defeats, In the Heart of It All offers a characteristically forthright account of a life spent serving others, whether it be Ohio citizens, Peace Corps volunteers, diplomatic colleagues or college students.
A densely packed book detailing a great volume of activities, accomplishments, and, at times, setbacks that make up Celeste’s life thus far, the autobiography repeatedly returns to an admonition once spoken to him by his maternal grandmother: ‘to whom much is given, much is expected’. Celeste is now a trustee of the Gates Family Foundation and the international development organisation, Global Communities, and is involved with numerous charities, continuing a life of altruism.
In the Heart of It All has been well-received, with one review by the Midwest Book Review stating that it is an ‘exceptionally well written, organised and presented’ book, and that it will ‘have a very special appeal to readers with an interest in political biographies and memoirs’.