Colorful, Cold War-busting Congressman Charlie Wilson to give Lynn’s next Dively lecture

Former Congressman – dubbed ‘Good Time Charlie’ – to address campus, public at noon-time lecture

Published Dec. 03, 2008

Charlie Wilson, a 24-year Texas Congressman credited with helping end the Cold War, noted for his colorful personality, and celebrated in both a best-selling book and a 2007 film starring Tom Hanks, will bring his “unbelievable” story to Lynn University next spring as a part of the university’s Dively Frontier in Globalization Luncheon Lecture Series.

At the Tuesday, March 10, noon-time lecture, Wilson will discuss his political life, role in arming the Afghan Mujahedeen against the Soviet Union, and his experiences as the namesake of “Charlie Wilson’s War” – a film that fast became a hit after it debuted in theaters last December. Tickets are $70 (includes lunch) for the lecture, which will take place in the campus’ Louis and Anne Green Center. To purchase tickets, visit www.lynn.edu/tickets or contact the ticket office at tickets@lynn.edu / 561-237-9000.

Wilson’s “unbelievable true story” (this according to film distributor Universal Pictures) begins on June 1, 1933, in Trinity, Texas, where Wilson was born. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1956, finishing eighth from the bottom of his class. Over the next several years Wilson served in the United States Navy as a service fleet officer and at the Pentagon, where he evaluated the Soviet Union’s nuclear forces.

Wilson’s political career began in 1961 in the Texas State House of Representatives. In 1972 he was elected to U.S. House of Representatives, where he served until 1996, when he retired. Dubbed “Good Time Charlie” by Congressional peers for his fun-loving lifestyle, Wilson undertook a very serious mission in the early summer of 1980 after reading an AP dispatch about refugees fleeing the Afghani conflict with the Soviet Union. As a new member of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee (which funded CIA operations), Wilson pushed successfully to get the group to provide millions of dollars to the Afghan Mujahedeen. The support was credited with helping push the Soviet Union out of Afghanistan and eventually helped lead to the end of the Cold War.

Wilson’s appearance will be the second of two Dively lectures this academic year at Lynn. In October, CNN political analyst Paul Begala, and former White House chief of staff, Republican Andrew Card appeared to debate issues and candidates leading up to the Nov. 4 presidential election.