Brady Carlson is a longtime public radio host, writer and presidential enthusiast – all of which prompted him to travel to all the gravesites of the US presidents, research the stories behind the sites, and share what he learned in his book Dead Presidents: An American Adventure into the Strange Deaths and Surprising Afterlives of Our Nation’s Leaders (W.W. Norton & Company, 2016).
Dead Presidents takes readers on an epic trip to presidential gravesites, monuments and memorials, telling the surprising origin stories of famous spots like the Washington Monument and Mount Rushmore, while introducing readers to lesser-known and surprising places like Millard Fillmore’s grave in Buffalo, N.Y. – just yards away from the grave of funk legend Rick James – and a town in Iowa that plays a sport known as Hoover-Ball.
A.J. Jacobs called Dead Presidents “the funniest and most entertaining book about death you’ll read this year – and my favorite book about corpses since Mary Roach’s Stiff.” Robert Sullivan described the book as “a terrific investigation of the post-life presidency, a rollicking but always thoughtful exploration of the after-the-White-House whereabouts of the forever former chief executives. Brady Carlson is the perfect road-trip companion, smart and good-hearted.”
When he’s not geeking out about Chester Arthur statues and Millard Fillmore monuments, Brady is a host and reporter for Wisconsin Public Radio, returning to the Midwest after more than a decade at New Hampshire Public Radio. His political reporting has been featured on national NPR programs, and he and his NHPR colleagues won a national Edward R. Murrow Award in 2016 for their news series, “The First Decade: Early Childhood Disparities and the Future of New Hampshire’s Kids.”
Brady’s pre-public radio years were pretty eclectic, as you can tell by the past projects on this site – reviews of “so bad they’re good” movies and a 2010 project where he live-blogged every episode of “The A-Team.” He’s worked as a public librarian, an overnight stock clerk, a community theater director, a custodian, a schoolteacher, a warehouse laborer, an adjunct college professor, an office receptionist and a walking billboard at a plastics industry trade show.
Brady has three kids and lives in Madison, Wisconsin.