President Bush Awards 2008
Recipients honored for outstanding cultural contributions
Leading Lincoln scholars and Richard Brookhiser among this year’s honorees Gabor S. Boritt and Harold Holzer, and biographer and historian
WASHINGTON (November 17, 2008) — Today, President George W. Bush awarded the prestigious for 2008 to scholars and Civil War historians Gabor S. Boritt and Harold Holzer and biographer and historian Richard Brookhiser during a ceremony held in the White House East Room. In total, nine distinguished Americans, one museum, and a philanthropic foundation were honored for their exemplary contributions to the humanities and were recognized for their scholarship, literary works, philanthropy, and preservation efforts. In addition to Gabor S. Boritt, Richard Brookhiser, and Harold Holzer, the President presented National Humanities Medals to Myron Magnet, journalist and author; Albert Marrin, children’s book author; Milton J. Rosenberg, radio show host and scholar; Thomas A. Saunders III and Jordan Horner Saunders, philanthropists; Robert H. Smith, philanthropist; John Templeton Foundation; and Norman Rockwell Museum.
Gabor S. Boritt is being recognized “for a distinguished career of scholarship on Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War era. His life’s work and his life’s story stand as testaments to our Nation’s precious legacy of liberty.”
Richard Brookhiser is being recognized “for helping reintroduce Americans to the personalities, eccentricities, and noble ideals of our Founding Fathers. His works of biography and history have rendered vivid and accessible portraits of the early days of the Republic.”
Harold Holzer is being recognized “for engaging scholarship on that crucible of our history, the American Civil War. His work has brought new understanding of the many facets of Abraham Lincoln and his era through the study of image, word, and deed.”
The National Humanities Medal, first awarded in 1989 as the Charles Frankel Prize, honors individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation's understanding of the humanities, broadened our citizens' engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans' access to important resources in the humanities.
The Humanities Medal is the most prestigious award in the humanities. Over the last decade, including this year’s recipients, the National Humanities Medal has been awarded to only 107 individuals and 9 organizations. Among those recognized during this time period are Bernard Lewis, Judith “Miss Manners” Martin, Madeleine L’Engle, Harvey Mansfield, and John Updike.
Medal recipients do not compete for this award but are specially selected by the President for their life-long achievements in their diverse areas of expertise.
A detailed profile of each of the 2008 medalists is available at: http://www.neh.gov/news/archive/2008_Medalists.html