Honors Kearns Goodwin, McMurtry, Staples and Roth


On Wednesday, October 22, 2014 the Chicago Public Library Foundation and the Chicago Public Library recognized biographer and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin (author of bestselling biographies of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Lyndon Johnson, and the Kennedy family) and novelist and screenwriter Larry McMurtry (“Terms of Endearment,” “Lonesome Dove,” “Brokeback Mountain” screenplay) with the Carl Sandburg Literary Award.

Both venerated authors are recipients of the Pulitzer Prize and their work has been adapted into Academy Award®-winning films.

Grammy Award-winning soul, rhythm and blues, gospel singer and civil rights activist, Mavis Staples received the inaugural Carl Sandburg Award in the Arts. Staples is a lifelong Chicagoan, Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and a National Heritage Fellowship Award recipient, and was listed as one of Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.

Veronica Roth, whose “Divergent” trilogy has topped bestseller lists worldwide, received the 21st Century Award, which salutes an early-career author with ties to Chicago. Raised in Barrington and currently residing in Chicago, Roth is a graduate of Northwestern University. A film adaptation of “Divergent” was released nationwide March 21, 2014.

We generously thank the Presenting Sponsor of the Sandburg Awards Dinner, BMO Harris Bank.

The Carl Sandburg Literary Award is presented annually to an acclaimed author in recognition of outstanding contributions to the literary world and honors a significant work or body of work that has enhanced the public's awareness of the written word.

The Carl Sandburg Award in the Arts is presented to an individual who embodies a spirit of creativity and social consciousness.

The 21st Century Award honors significant recent achievement in writing by a Chicago-based author. In presenting this award, the Foundation's Directors hope to encourage the creation of new works and increase public awareness of the writer's talents.

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