Richard Cheatham

Inspirational historian and entertaining speaker illustrating classic lessons through character portrayals.

Former television and newspaper journalist.

Citizen leadership expert and consultant


Making history lessons interesting and relevant for us today

  • “Why people do what they do” – as told through interesting character portrayals
  • Applying lessons learned from past Americans to the contemporary world through character portrayals.

In addition to thousands of presentations to all sorts of groups throughout this country and internationally over the past several decades, he has appeared on BBC, PBS and The Learning Channel. He was featured on Entertainment Tonight with John Tesh and Mel Gibson and on the Voice of America as well as in numerous newspaper and magazine articles around the country.

Richard Cheatham is a leadership consultant and educator, a professional speaker and historian. With a passion for making important lessons from History interesting and relevant for us today, he speaks to all sorts of audiences from business executives and Congressional staff members to families and students of all ages. He has always been fascinated by “why people do what they do” and sees History as the perfect laboratory for investigating this intriguing and important question.


His memorable presentations, often spellbinding portrayals of people from America’s past, are designed not only to entertain but also to provoke reflection upon the application of History’s enduring lessons to our contemporary challenges. His character portrayals as Pocahontas’ husband John Rolfe, Richard Henry Lee, Captain Meriwether Lewis, President John Tyler, Captain Richard Manson, Botanist John Clayton, Congressman Charles Lindbergh, Sr., and others demonstrate that classic leadership and motivational lessons are as valuable today as they ever were.


He is a graduate of Virginia Military Institute, one of America’s top schools of leadership, and is a consultant in what he calls “Citizen Leadership.”  He was a professional television journalist for years and was later a syndicated weekly newspaper columnist.

Among many other projects, Dick’s unusual professional speakers bureau, Living History Associates, Ltd., has had the contract with the National Park Service at Jamestown to tell America’s founding story for over twenty years. He has presented this poorly-known yet pivotal story to hundreds of thousands of people from around the world.

What People Are Saying…

“Dick Cheatham is a MASTER STORY TELLER, a SUPERB TEACHER, and a MOST GIFTED DRAMATIST all rolled up into one magnificent package!…His presentation as John Rolfe is spell binding. Dick Cheatham doesn’t just keep his audience’s attention, but he involves them and brings them with him into the 1600s. Who says history can’t be interesting, entertaining, and captivating?”
Bob PettittPresident KRHP-TV 14

“Your talk was just wonderful!…I cannot recommend Richard Cheatham highly enough to speak at your event. He is interesting, informative and entertaining. The audience at the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund was enchanted with his presentation as John Rolfe on early farming at Jamestown. In particular, he knows a lot about how farmers contributed to the development of the United States of America.”
Sally Fallon Morell, President, The Weston A. Price Foundation

Contact Kimberly Hartke to book this speaker