National Endowment for the Humanities: National Humanities Medal

From SourceWatch
Jump to navigation Jump to search

National Endowment for the Humanities: National Humanities Medal [1]


  • Fouad Ajami - Political scientist and author of many articles and books on the modern Middle East, including The Foreigner's Gift: The Americans, the Arabs, and the Iraqis in Iraq.
  • James M. Buchanan - Economist and winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in economic science best known for developing the discipline of public choice theory.
  • Nickolas Davatzes - Founder of The History Channel, the A&E Network, the Biography Channel, and past co-chairman of the board of directors for Cable in the Classroom.
  • Robert Fagles - Professor of comparative literature noted for his translations of Sophocles's Three Theban Plays, Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Aeschylus's Oresteia, and Virgil's Aeneid.
  • Mary Lefkowitz - Classicist and author of many books, including Not Out of Africa; Heroines and Hysterics; Women in Greek Myth; The Victory Ode; and Greek Gods, Human Lives.
  • Bernard Lewis - Historian and author of many books on the history of the Muslim world, including The Emergence of Modern Turkey; The Political Language of Islam; and Islam and the West.
  • Mark Noll - Historian and author of many books on religion and culture, including A History of Christianity in the United States and Canada and The Civil War as a Theological Crisis.
  • Meryle Secrest - Biographer of major artists and leading figures in American Broadway theater, including Romaine Brooks, Salvador Dalí, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim.
  • Kevin Starr - Historian known for his seven-volume series on the social and cultural history of California, collectively called America and the California Dream.
  • Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace, Stanford University

Public policy research center devoted to advanced study of politics, economics, and political economy—both domestic and foreign—as well as international affairs.


  • Walter Berns - Political scientist and author of many books on the Constitution, including Making Patriots and Taking the Constitution Seriously.
  • Matthew Bogdanos - Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves responsible for recovering more than 5,000 artifacts looted from the Iraq Museum.
  • Eva Brann - Classicist and author of many books, among them Homeric Moments: Clues to Delight in Reading the Odyssey and the Iliad.
  • John Lewis Gaddis - Historian and author of many books including The United States and the Origins of the Cold War, 1941-1947 and Surprise, Security, and the American Experience.
  • Richard Gilder - Philanthropist and co-founder and co-chairman of the Gilder Lehrman Collection, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, and the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale.
  • Mary Ann Glendon - Scholar of human rights and legal theory and author of many books, among them A World Made New: Eleanor Roosevelt and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  • Leigh Keno - Antiques authority and writer who, along with his brother Leslie, appears on shows such as "Antiques Roadshow" that deepen understandings of American decorative arts.
  • Leslie Keno - Antiques authority and writer who frequently appears on television shows such as "Find!" and "Antiques Roadshow."
  • Alan Charles Kors - Scholar of European intellectual history, writer, and past editor-in-chief of the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Enlightenment.
  • Lewis Lehrman - Philanthropist, trustee of the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale University for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition, and chairman of The Lehrman Institute.
  • Judith Martin - Etiquette columnist known as "Miss Manners" and author of many books on the cultural significance of etiquette, among them Star-Spangled Manners: In Which Miss Manners Defends American Etiquette (For a Change).
  • Papers of George Washington - Responsible for publishing what is forecasted to be a ninety-volume edition of the complete correspondence of America's first president.


  • Marva Collins - Noted educator who has trained more than one hundred thousand teachers, principals, and administrators at Westside Preparatory School in Chicago.
  • Gertrude Himmelfarb - Scholar of Victorian studies and author of eleven books including Poverty and Compassion: The Moral Imagination of the Late Victorians.
  • Hilton Kramer - Art critic and editor and publisher of the New Criterion.
  • Madeleine L'Engle - Author of many children's books including A Wrinkle in Time.
  • Harvey C. Mansfield - Political philosopher and author of thirteen books on subjects ranging from Edmund Burke to Machiavelli.
  • John Searle - Mills Professor of the Philosophy of Mind and Language at the University of California at Berkeley.
  • Shelby Steele - Social critic, essayist, and winner of the National Book Critics' Circle Award for The Content of Our Character: A New Vision of Race in America.
  • United States Capitol Historical Society - A society founded in 1962 by Congress to educate the public on the history of the Capitol and Congress.


  • Robert Ballard - Award-winning deep-sea explorer known for his 1985 discovery of the Titanic.
  • Joan Ganz Cooney - One of the visionaries and the chief moving force behind the creation of the Children's Television Workshop (CTW) and its highly successful children's television show, “Sesame Street.”
  • Midge Decter - Former executive editor at Harper's magazine, founder and former executive director of the Committee for the Free World, and author of five books.
  • Joseph Epstein - Noted essayist, fiction writer, social commentator, and literary critic who is the author of thirteen books.
  • Elizabeth Fox-Genovese - Eléonore Raoul Professor of the Humanities and professor of history at Emory University, where she was the founding director of the Institute for Women’s Studies.
  • Jean Fritz - Author of many acclaimed children’s books including The Cabin Faced West (1958).
  • Hal Holbrook - Actor known for his portrayal of Mark Twain in his production of Mark Twain Tonight!.
  • Edith Kurzweil - Former editor of Partisan Review and author of three books.
  • Frank M. Snowden, Jr. - Professor Emeritus of Classics at Howard University in Washington, D.C., and one of the foremost scholars on blacks in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Italy.
  • John Updike - Pulitzer prinze-winning American novelist, short story writer, poet, and critic, known internationally for his series of novels about Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom.


  • Frankie Hewitt - Producing artistic director of Washington's famous Ford Theatre who formed the nonprofit Ford's Theatre Society.
  • Iowa Writer's Workshop - First creative writing degree program offered by an American university; has produced a dozen winners of the Pulitzer Prize, four of the last five U.S. Poet Laureates, and numerous winners of the National Book Award.
  • Donald Kagan - Professor of classics and history at Yale University; author of a celebrated four-volume history of the Peloponnesian War.
  • Brian Lamb - Founder and chief executive officer of C-SPAN, the private, nonprofit cable network that provides access to the proceedings of Congress and other public affiars programming and information services.
  • Art Linkletter - Emmy-winning television personality and author of 23 books, including Kids Say the Darndest Things.
  • Patricia MacLachlan - Author of childrens' books including Sarah Plain and Tall, Journey, and Baby.
  • Mount Vernon Ladies' Association - Oldest historic preservation organization in the United States which saved Mount Vernon from destruction and continues to maintain it as a public historic site.
  • Thomas Sowell - Professor of public policy at Stanford University; his books include Inside American Education, A Conflict of Visions, and Race and Culture.


  • Jose Cisneros - Artist renowned for depicting the people and culture of the old Southwest through his illustrations for magazines, books, and newspapers.
  • Robert Coles - Research psychologist and professor of psychiatry and medical humanities at Harvard University; author of more than fifty books on ethics, child psychology and the humanities.
  • Sharon Darling - President and founder of the National Center for Family Literacy in Louisville, Ky., where she has been at the forefront of efforts to place family reading and learning activities on the national agenda for social change.
  • William Manchester - Historian, novelist, biographer, essayist and memoirist; his works include American Caesar (1978), a biography of Douglas MacArthur, and The Death of a President (1967), an account of the Kennedy assassination.
  • Richard Peck - Author of more than twenty-five novels and recognized as one of America's most respected writers for young adults.
  • Eileen Jackson Southern - Musicologist who helped transform the study and understanding of American music and founding editor of the journal Black Perspectives in Music.
  • Tom Wolfe - Author of numerous works on contemporary culture and society; his novels include A Man in Full (1998), The Bonfire of the Vanities (1987), The Right Stuff (1979), and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968).
  • National Trust for Historic Preservation - Organization that protects the built environment and works to incorporate historic places into community life.


  • Robert N. Bellah - Eminent authority on the sociology of religion; senior author of the best-selling Habits of the Heart: Individualism and Commitment in American Life (1985).
  • Will D. Campbell - Renowned civil rights activist; author of 16 books on various aspects of the South.
  • Judy Crichton - Executive producer of PBS's premier historical series "The American Experience" from its inception in 1986 until her retirement in 1997; executive producer of over 100 PBS programs.
  • David C. Driskell - Renowned scholar of African American art; curator of pioneering African American art exhibitions.
  • Ernest J. Gaines - Author of award-winning novels and short stories exploring race and culture in the American South.
  • Herman T. Guerrero - Philanthropist, humanist and civic proponent whose leadership has created a lasting humanities legacy on the islands.
  • Quincy Jones - Musician, composer, cultural preservationist and humanitarian; winner of 26 Grammys; founder of the Institute for Black American Music and the Black Arts Festival in Chicago.
  • Barbara Kingsolver - A leading voice for human rights, social responsibility and the environment in contemporary American fiction.
  • Edmund S. Morgan - Distinguished authority on Puritan and American colonial history whose many books have reached general as well as scholarly audiences.
  • Toni Morrison - Recipient of 1993 Nobel Prize in Literature; author of seven novels on the African American experience, a collection of essays and dozens of articles and reviews.
  • Earl Shorris - Creator of the Bard College Clemente Course in the Humanities, an experimental attempt to transform the lives of the poor through education in the humanities.
  • Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve - Author of 20 books and numerous short stories and essays about Native American life and culture.


  • Patricia M. Battin - Librarian who has organized and led a national campaign to save millions of disintegrating books published between 1850 and 1950; galvanized congressional support for a national program to microfilm these brittle books, thereby preserving their content as a significant part of the record of American civilization.
  • Taylor Branch - Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and journalist whose books have earned him the reputation as a national authority on Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement.
  • Jacquelyn Dowd Hall - One of the nation's preeminent scholars of the New South; founder and director of the Southern Oral History Project at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, which is shaping scholarship, education and public programs about the contemporary South.
  • Garrison Keillor - Creator, writer and host of Minnesota Public Radio's weekly variety program, A Prairie Home Companion; host of The Writer's Almanac, a five-minute radio program about literature broadcast daily on stations throughout the nation; author of several bestselling books.
  • Jim Lehrer - Journalist; editor and anchor of The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, public television's award-winning nightly news program; author of novels, plays, and memoirs.
  • John Rawls - One of the 20th century's most influential political philosophers, widely read among political scientists, economists and legal theorists for his views on justice, basic rights and equal opportunity; author of A Theory of Justice (1971) and Political Liberalism (1993).
  • Steven Spielberg - Acclaimed filmmaker who has brought history and literature to life for millions of Americans; producer and/or director of Academy Award-winning films Saving Private Ryan (1998), Amistad (1997) and Schindler's List (1993).
  • August Wilson - Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright (The Piano, 1990, and Fences, 1987) whose plays present an epic story of the black experience in America over the course of a century; influential promoter of the advancement and preservation of black theater and performing arts.


  • Stephen E. Ambrose - Biographer of Eisenhower and Nixon; author of Undaunted Courage, Citizen Soldiers, and D-Day, three history books simultaneously on the New York Times bestseller list; principal commentator in the PBS documentary films Lewis and Clarkand Eisenhower; chief historical advisor on the Spielberg film Saving Private Ryan.
  • E. L. Doctorow - Author of many popular and critically acclaimed novels about America's last 100 years, including Ragtime and Billy Bathgate; many of his novels have been adapted to film, and a musical version of Ragtime is currently running on Broadway.
  • Diana L. Eck - Creator and director of the Harvard-based Pluralism Project, which documents and analyzes America's religious diversity and produced an acclaimed CD-ROM that is now in wide use as a resource for studying the role of religion in American culture.
  • Nancye Brown Gaj - Founder and president of MOTHEREAD, Inc., a national family literacy program that enables newly literate adults to improve their reading skills while helping them encourage and guide the learning of their preschool-age children.
  • Henry Louis Gates, Jr. - Director of Harvard's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for Afro-American Research; author of the best-selling Loose Canons: Notes on the Culture Wars and Colored People: A Memoir; coeditor of the Norton Anthology of African American Literature.
  • Vartan Gregorian - Educator, administrator and philanthropist; former president of Brown University and of the New York Public Library; current president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.
  • Ramon Eduardo Ruiz - Scholar and professor of the history of Hispanic America; author of 12 books, including in-depth studies of the Cuban and Mexican revolutions.
  • Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. - Prolific scholar and professor of American history; two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, for The Age of Jackson and A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House; author of The Disuniting of America.
  • Garry Wills - Syndicated columnist, essayist and cultural critic; Pulitzer Prize winner for Lincoln at Gettysburg; author of numerous acclaimed books on American culture and history.


  • Nina M. Archabal - Director of the Minnesota Historical Society and leader in developing innovative museum programs for the public.
  • David A. Berry - Executive director of the Community College Humanities Association and leading national advocate for improved humanities education in two-year colleges.
  • Richard J. Franke - Businessman and former investment firm CEO, creator of the annual Chicago Humanities Festival, longtime leader of national and state cultural commissions promoting the arts and humanities.
  • William Friday - Executive director of the William Rand Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust, former university president, leader in promoting excellence in humanities education.
  • Don Henley - Member of The Eagles rock group; founder and chairman of the Walden Woods Project for the preservation of historically significant land; major funder for the Thoreau Institute, the nation's premier center for Thoreau studies.
  • Maxine Hong Kingston - Teacher and writer whose novels about the Chinese-American experience have won numerous awards.
  • Luis Leal - Literary scholar whose life's work is a major contribution to cultural understanding of Latin America and Hispanic communities in the United States.
  • Martin E. Marty - Renowned scholar of American religious history and director of the University of Chicago's Public Religion Project.
  • Paul Mellon - Philanthropist who has contributed millions of dollars in support of the humanities and the arts; founder of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the nation's largest nonfederal funder of humanities projects.
  • Studs Terkel - Longtime radio talk-show host, Pulitzer Prize-winning author, oral historian whose published interviews chronicle 20th-century life in the words of hundreds of ordinary Americans.

Charles Frankel Prize

In 1988 NEH established the Charles Frankel Prize to recognize persons for outstanding contributions to the public's understanding of the humanities. The Charles Frankel Prize was awarded from 1989-1996.


  • Rita Dove - Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, former poet laureate of the United States and an activist in poetry programs for the public.
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin - Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and a leading scholar of the American presidency known for her commentary in television news programs and historical documentaries.
  • Daniel Kemmis - Political philosopher, author, civic activist and director of the Center for the Rocky Mountain West.
  • Arturo Madrid - Professor of Latino literature who as founding president of the Tomas Rivera Center helped develop the field of Latino studies in the U.S.
  • Bill Moyers - Television journalist who is nationally known for his documentary explorations of ideas and issues in contemporary American life.


  • William R. Ferris - Director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture and a prominent scholar of the American South.
  • Charles Kuralt - Author and long-time correspondent at CBS News who has chronicled contemporary American life for many years through his "On the Road" pieces.
  • David Macaulay - Author and illustrator of many prize-winning books that rank him among the nation's foremost popularizers of great ideas in architectural history.
  • David McCullough - Pulitzer Prize-winning author, public television host, champion of historic preservation and one of the nation's best-known public historians.
  • Bernice Johnson Reagon - Singer-composer, performer, museum curator and historian dedicated to recovering, preserving and interpreting African American vocal music.


  • Ernest L. Boyer - President of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and a national leader in education reform at all levels.
  • William Kittredge - Writer and educator whose work has contributed to the development of regional studies of the American West.
  • Peggy Whitman Prenshaw - Southern literature scholar and leader in public humanities programming in Mississippi and Louisiana.
  • Sharon Percy Rockefeller - Public broadcasting leader dedicated to reaching wider audiences through quality programming in the arts and humanities.
  • Dorothy Porter Wesley - Librarian whose pioneering work as an archivist of African-Americana helped lay the foundation of African-American studies programs.


  • Ricardo E. Alegria - Historian of Caribbean culture and leader in public humanities programming in his native Puerto Rico.
  • John Hope Franklin - Historian of the American South, educator and pioneering scholar of African-American studies.
  • Hanna Holborn Gray - University of Chicago president emerita and longtime spokesperson for excellence in liberal arts curricula in higher education.
  • Andrew Heiskell - Founding chairman of the President's Commission on the Arts and Humanities and longtime benefactor of the humanities.
  • Laurel T. Ulrich - Pioneering historian of women in New England's past and Pulitzer Prize-winning author.


  • Allan Bloom - Philosopher, educator and author of the best-selling The Closing of the American Mind, an influential critique of American higher education.
  • Shelby Foote - Novelist, historian and principal commentator in the PBS documentary The Civil War.
  • Richard Rodriguez - Writer-journalist and author of Hunger of Memory, a widely read book about American cultural diversity.
  • Harold K. Skramstad, Jr. - President of the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Mich., and innovator in presenting history in museums.
  • Eudora Welty - Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose work has illuminated life in America.


  • Winton Blount - major benefactor of the humanities in Alabama, including the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
  • Ken Burns - Independent filmmaker and creator of The Civil War documentary series for PBS.
  • Louise Cowan - Cofounder of the Dallas Institute of Humanities and Culture, where she created and leads summer academies on literature for teachers and principals.
  • Karl Haas - Host of public radio's Adventures in Good Music program.
  • John Tchen - Historian and co-founder of New York's Chinatown History Museum.


  • Mortimer J. Adler - Director of the Institute for Philosophical Research in Chicago and author of numerous works on education and philosophy.
  • Henry Hampton - Independent filmmaker and creator of PBS's Eyes on the Prize documentary series.
  • Bernard M. W. Knox - Director emeritus of Harvard's Center for Hellenic Studies and author of several books on classical culture for the general reader.
  • David Van Tassel - Historian and founder of National History Day, an annual national competition recognizing high school students for excellence in historical research and analysis.
  • Ethyle R. Wolfe - Architect of Brooklyn College's innovative core curriculum and spokeswoman for liberal arts education.


  • Patricia L. Bates - Reading program specialist who developed a model for scholar-led reading and discussion groups now used in libraries across the United States.
  • Daniel J. Boorstin - Librarian of Congress Emeritus and author of several books on American history and culture for a general audience.
  • Willard L. Boyd - President of Chicago's Field Museum of Natural History and a leader in developing innovative museum programs for the public.
  • Clay S. Jenkinson - A leader in the revival of chautauqua, a forum for public discussion about the ideas and lives of key figures in American history.
  • Americo Paredes - Author and creator of numerous public programs on folklore and Mexican-American culture.

Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. National Humanities Medal, National Endowment for the Humanities, accessed August 30, 2007.