CHICAGO, Jan. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation announced today that it will award its prestigious Lincoln Leadership Prize to renowned filmmaker Steven Spielberg during a special dinner at the Hilton Chicago on Wednesday, March 19. This annual award honors outstanding individuals for a lifetime of service in the spirit of 16th President Abraham Lincoln. It is intended to honor individuals who manifest great strength of character, individual conscience, and an unwavering commitment to the defining principles of democracy.
"We are pleased to present this year's Lincoln Leadership Prize to Steven Spielberg, who brings socially relevant issues to the forefront of our minds through the medium of film," said Wayne W. Whalen, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation. "Additionally, his long-time commitment to philanthropic endeavors exemplifies President Lincoln's conscience and spirit, making him truly deserving of this award."
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.
"This is an extraordinary honor. For me, Lincoln's unprecedented commitment to the cause of democracy is one of the most important examples of leadership our nation has ever seen," said Spielberg. "I am humbled to receive an award that embodies both his legacy and the profound contributions he made to this country."
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, Astronaut James A. Lovell Jr., and the late television journalist Tim Russert.
Caterpillar is the presenting sponsor for the Lincoln Leadership Prize, and has been a significant supporter of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
"Caterpillar is extremely proud to sponsor this year's Lincoln Leadership Prize," said Michele Sullivan, president of the Caterpillar Foundation. "Caterpillar respects and shares the values that guided Lincoln's leadership decisions, values like unwavering dedication to a larger mission, maintaining integrity, and commitment to diversity and fairness. We congratulate Mr. Spielberg on this well-deserved award."
For more information on the Lincoln Leadership Prize Dinner and to purchase individual tickets or secure a table, please visit www.lincolnleadershipprize.org or call the Foundation office at (217) 557-6251.
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.
SOURCE The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation