Dr. Herman J. Viola is a curator emeritus at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. A specialist on the history of the American West, he served as director of the Museum's National Anthropological Archives in addition to organizing two major exhibitions for the Smithsonian. "Magnificent Voyagers" told the story of the United State Exploring Expedition of 1838-42, and "Seeds of Change" examined the exchange of plants, animals, and diseases between the Old and the New Worlds as a result of the Christopher Columbus voyages of discovery.
Prior to joining the staff of the Smithsonian Institution in 1972, he was an archivist at the National Archives of the United States, where he launched and was first editor of Prologue: The Journal of the National Archives.
Dr. Viola's research specialties include the American Indian, the Civil War, and the exploration of the American West. He has authored numerous books on these topics, including Exploring the West, After Columbus, Warrior Artists, and The North American Indians. He is also the author of the middle school social studies textbook, Why We Remember.
His most recent book, Little Bighorn Remembered: the Untold Indian Story of Custer's Last Stand, was selected by both Book of the Month Club and the Quality Paperback Club, and was a primary selection of the History Club.
Dr. Viola received his B.A. and M.A. from Marquette University, and his Ph.D. from Indiana University/Bloomington. He has an honorary doctor degree from Wittingberg University, Springfield, Ohio.
Dr. Viola and his wife, Susan, have three sons. They are residents of Falls Church, Virginia, and Bozman, Maryland.