Murthy Attends Doris Kearns Goodwin Lecture in Baltimore Speaker Series05 Mar 2014
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian, Doris Kearns Goodwin, was the latest featured speaker in Stevenson University’s Baltimore Speakers Series, held February 18th at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Murthy Law Firm founder and president – and fellow Harvard alumna – Sheela Murthy was there, front and center, for this deeply engaging conversation about three leaders who shaped our nation’s destiny.
With warmth, humor, and dazzling erudition, Ms. Goodwin brought her subjects to life, painting nuanced and richly human portraits of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Drawing on her encyclopedic repertoire of anecdotes and telling details, Ms. Goodwin deftly interwove the personal and the political, seamlessly connecting the public and private lives of these great men, and reflecting on what their experiences can teach us about leadership, life, love, and success.
Murthy commented, “It was an awesome and impressive lecture! Ms. Goodwin gave you a tremendous sense of how brilliant and uniquely gifted these people were, but I was especially struck by their strength: the way they faced incredibly difficult problems in their lives. They took each challenge as an opportunity to learn, and it made them stronger, more able to handle the stresses and problems of public life. It really shaped them as leaders.”
Also compelling in its own right, Murthy reflected, is Ms. Goodwin’s personal story: her long and distinguished career in politics, journalism, and academia, a Pulitzer Prize and countless other top awards, and a string of best-selling histories, including Team of Rivals, which became the basis for Steven Spielberg’s 2012 film epic, Lincoln. “Hundreds of other people have written about Lincoln, FDR, and Teddy Roosevelt, but Doris Kearns Goodwin has been singularly successful with her books, because she’s not content just to talk about the politics and historical context, though she obviously knows it extremely well. What sets her apart is her deep interest in the minds and hearts and lives of the people she writes about.”
Murthy continued: “I feel a certain kinship with Doris Kearns Goodwin, because both of us are pioneers in our respective fields – we both launched our careers when women were very much in the minority in our professions. Just as she’s interested in the emotional lives of her subjects, I’ve always taken a very personal interest in the immigrants I am privileged to represent. I always feel like, ‘That client could be me, or a member of my family, so I need to do an outstanding job on this case.’ It’s not just a job, and it’s not about ego – it’s about having a genuine and heartfelt sense of connection with those we seek to serve. What I learned from Ms. Goodwin’s lecture is that great leaders have that honest sense of passion and purpose and emotional connection; whatever they do, their hearts are in it, a hundred percent!”
The Murthy Law Firm is a proud sponsor of the Baltimore Speakers Series, and Murthy is an active member of Stevenson University’s Board of Trustees. “I believe in supporting Stevenson University,” Murthy said, “because I fully support its mission: empowering people to improve their lives through education. I support the Speakers Series for the same reason!”
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