CHICAGO, March 19, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation will honor renowned filmmaker Steven Spielberg with its Lincoln Leadership Prize on Wednesday, March 19th at 6p.m. at the Hilton Chicago. This annual award honors outstanding individuals for a lifetime of service in the spirit of our nation's 16th president, and who like Abraham Lincoln, manifest great strength of character, individual conscience and an unwavering commitment to the defining principles of democracy. Nearly 700 civic, philanthropic and business leaders will gather at the event to celebrate Spielberg's achievement and to support the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
"We are truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from people and organizations from across the nation. This year we have set records both for attendance and fundraising. This annual event keeps growing because of the generosity of so many who wish to preserve and advance Abraham Lincoln's rich legacy," said Carla Knorowski, CEO of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation. "This ongoing support of our library, museum and foundation allows us to continue telling 'The Great American Story' of Abraham Lincoln with collections, exhibits and programming at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum."
One of the entertainment industry's most successful and influential filmmakers, Spielberg is a three-time Academy Award winner. In 2012, Spielberg directed "Lincoln," which garnered 12 Academy Award nominations winning two Oscars, including Daniel Day-Lewis' third Oscar for Best Actor playing the iconic president, as well as Best Production Design.
Mr. Spielberg also devotes his time and resources to many philanthropic causes, having established The Righteous Persons Foundation, as well as the Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, now the USC Shoah Foundation. He is also Chairman Emeritus of the Starlight Children's Foundation.
"The Lincoln Leadership Prize is a most humbling honor, particularly when it is conferred by the Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation," said Steven Spielberg. "I am grateful for the opportunity tonight to join the list of distinguished past honorees in adding my words of appreciation for what Lincoln did for our country and the world."
Caterpillar is the presenting sponsor for the Lincoln Leadership Prize, and has been a significant supporter of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
"The Caterpillar Foundation is pleased to continue to support ALPLM as President Lincoln's vision so closely aligns with the values and the diverse thinking and decision making that our employees strive for every day," said Michele Sullivan, President of the Caterpillar Foundation. "We know that by working together, we can produce better results than any of us can achieve alone."
The award will be presented by two-time Academy Award and three-time Emmy Award winner Sally Field. Field starred in Spielberg's "Lincoln" in a widely praised portrayal of Mary Todd Lincoln, which brought her Best Supporting Actress nominations for the Academy Award, the Golden Globe and the BAFTA and Screen Actors Guild awards. Field was also recently inducted into the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences, an honorary society and leading center for independent U.S. policy research, in 2013.
"It is a tremendous honor for me to present the 2014 Lincoln Leadership Award to my friend and colleague Steven Spielberg," said Field. "Steven's sense of adventure and stunning, ever-evolving gift of filmmaking has affected every corner of the globe. He has imprinted iconic images on generations to come with his deep humanity and concern for human rights in films such as 'Lincoln,' 'Schindler's List,' 'Amistad,' 'The Color Purple' and more. Above all, his films illuminate individual courage and celebrate the resilience of the human spirit, which is what the Lincoln Leadership Prize is all about."
The Lincoln Leadership Prize has been awarded since 2006. Previous honorees include the 42nd President of the United States, President Bill Clinton, former Polish President Lech Walesa, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and the late television journalist Tim Russert.
About the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation
The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation supports the collections and the educational and cultural programming of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum; fosters Lincoln scholarship through the acquisition and publication of documentary materials relating to Lincoln and his era; and promotes a greater appreciation of history through exhibits, conferences, publications, online services, and other activities designed to promote historical literacy.
The Caterpillar Foundation
Caterpillar Inc. supports the philanthropic efforts of the Caterpillar Foundation. Founded in 1952, the Caterpillar Foundation has contributed more than $550 million to make sustainable progress possible around the world by providing program support in the areas of environmental sustainability, access to education and basic human needs.
SOURCE The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation