The cause was a heart attack, said Mr. Schlesinger’s son Stephen. He died at New York Downtown Hospital after being stricken in a restaurant.
Twice awarded the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, Mr. Schlesinger exhaustively examined the administrations of two prominent presidents, Andrew Jackson and Franklin Delano Roosevelt, against a vast background of regional and economic rivalries. He strongly argued that strong individuals like Jackson and Roosevelt could bend history.
The notes he took for President John F. Kennedy to use in writing his own history, became, after the president’s assassination, grist for Mr. Schlesinger’s own “A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House,” winner of both the Pulitzer and a National Book Award in 1966.
Schlesinger took the attacks with the air of someone who really understands the Long View. “What the hell,” he said. “You have to call them as you see them. This too shall pass.”