CHICAGO, March 2, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation (ALPLF) will award its prestigious Lincoln Leadership Prize to Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ph.D., astrophysicist at the American Museum of Natural History and the first occupant of the Frederick P. Rose Directorship at the Hayden Planetarium, during a gala event at the Hilton Chicago at 7 p.m. March 9. Tyson – the first scientist to receive the coveted prize – works tirelessly to advance America's science legacy, which Lincoln helped to further when he established the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in 1863.
Tyson has served as Executive Science Editor, Host and Narrator for Cosmos: A Space Time Odyssey, which won four Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award and two Critics Choice Awards. Tyson also served on two presidential commissions under George W. Bush – one which studied the future of the U.S. aerospace industry and another which studied the future of NASA. In 2000, Asteroid 1994 KA was named 13123 Tyson in his honor.
"I think of myself not as a leader but as a scientist and as an educator. The fact that people follow what I do, or count me among the leaders in the land, is evidence of a growing curiosity permeating society for how and why science matters in our lives," said Tyson. "To be recognized for this effort, not only by the public but by the Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, has affirmed that I must be doing something right."
Famed astronaut Captain James A. Lovell, Jr. will present the Lincoln Leadership Prize to Tyson. Lovell, who received the award in 2010, is regarded as a leader of near mythic proportion, maintaining calm and discipline aboard Apollo 13 while the mission experienced monumental equipment failures that threatened to leave the crew stranded in outer space. In addition, he served as pilot and navigator on Apollo 8's six-day journey to the Moon, and backup commander to Neil Armstrong for Apollo 11. In 1994 Lovell and Jeff Kluger wrote Lost Moon, which was re-released as Apollo 13 and filmed in 1995 with Tom Hanks playing the role of Captain Lovell.
"One of the things I have learned from Abraham Lincoln over the years is that commitment is necessary if you are going to do anything great," said Lovell. "Neil deGrasse Tyson is one of the most dedicated, down-to-Earth astrophysicists you'll ever meet. He connects with people in personal ways to make big concepts about space and science accessible to everyone. Neil has done more to advance the field of science than President Lincoln ever could have dreamed when our 16th president established the National Academy of Sciences."
The Lincoln Leadership Prize is an annual award that recognizes outstanding individuals for a lifetime of service in the spirit of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The award honors individuals who manifest great strength of character, individual conscience and unwavering commitment to the defining principles of democracy. Previous honorees include Civil Rights Activists The Little Rock Nine, Filmmaker Steven Spielberg, 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton, former Polish President Lech Walesa, Journalist Tim Russert, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.
The annual event serves as the primary fundraiser for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation for the benefit of the Museum and Library, which does not receive any federal funding. For more information about the Lincoln Leadership Prize please visit www.alplm.org. For tickets and/or table sponsorship information please call 312/553-2000.
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.
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SOURCE Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation (ALPLF)