Abraham Lincoln by Kevin Wood: My Story


Abraham Lincoln by Kevin Wood

Bringing history –
and his story –
to life!

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standing with Abe in front of the Metamora CourthouseI was born in Michigan but moved with my family to central Illinois at the age of eleven.  I attended high school in the town of Metamora, which had been one of Abe Lincoln's regular stops as a circuit-riding attorney.  As a history buff, I used to enjoy visiting the Metamora Courthouse (photo at left, taken in 2014) with its various Lincoln memorabilia.

As a young man, my height reached 6'3", and I also grew a beard.  It was then that my resemblance to President Lincoln first began to come out.  Still, it didn't occur to me until some years later to combine my love for history, my interest in Lincoln, my experience in public speaking, and my natural resemblance to "Honest Abe."

Today, I get great enjoyment out of bringing one of our nation's most esteemed historical characters to life.  And my audiences, both young and old alike, tell me how much they enjoy and learn from it as well.

the Wood family (July 2015): Kevin, Joanne, Elaina, Emily, ElizabethMy personal highlights from the past 20 years include appearances at important Lincoln sites such as the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and the Lincoln Home National Historic Site in Springfield, IL, and at important Lincoln events such as Lincoln's Festival in Bloomington, IL.  I have now appeared as Mr. Lincoln in 31 states, Washington, DC, and two foreign countries: Canada and Spain.  I am also a past winner of the oratory contest at the Lincoln Days Celebration in Hodgenville, KY (Lincoln's birthplace).

I am a lifetime member (since 2001) of the Association of Lincoln Presenters and currently serve on its Board.  I was a member of Illinois Humanities' Road Scholars Speakers Bureau from 2015 to 2022.

I lived in the Philadelphia, PA area from 1992 until 2003, then in Spain until the summer of 2013 when I relocated back to the USA, to the Chicago, IL area.  In the summer of 2021, I moved back to Michigan.  Unlike Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, who had four sons, my wife Joanne and I have no sons, but three lovely daughters.

P.S.  It's not easy filling Abe Lincoln's shoes!  But here's how I stack up:

Abe Lincoln: 6'4" (in Lincoln's words, "6'4" nearly"), 160-180 lbs., shoe size: 13
Kevin Wood: 6'3" (6'4" nearly), 155 lbs., shoe size: 11

The real Mr. Lincoln was born in Kentucky and later lived in Indiana, Illinois, and on Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, DC.
I was born in Michigan and later lived in Illinois, Michigan again (college), Indiana (graduate school), Pennsylvania, Spain, Illinois again, and now Michigan for the thrid time.