2017 Dan Abrams
From OJ to Michael Jackson, Dan Abrams has covered the highest profile cases of the last two decades.
2016 David Bohrman
David Bohrman—one of the most innovative, experienced and respected TV journalists and executive leaders for more than 30 years—has gone from producer to executive producer to senior management at ABC News, NBC News, CNN and Current TV. He created the YouTube debates in the 2008 political campaign as well as produced more than a dozen presidential debates from 2003-2008.
2015 Nancy Giles
CBS Sunday Morning contributor, comedian, and actress Nancy Giles delights TV audiences and theater fans alike with her social commentaries and solo performances. Giles acclaimed work on the Emmy Award-winning CBS Sunday Morning has provided the largest audience yet for her unique blend of common sense wisdom and laugh-out-loud humor. She is a funny, perceptive and provocative observer of today's world.
2014 Jennifer Weiner
World-renowned author Jennifer Weiner made her sensational debut with The New York Times best-seller Good in Bed, the story of a smart, witty plus-size pop-culture journalist whose ex-boyfriend chronicles their ex-sex life on the pages of a top-selling women's magazine. The following year, Weiner turned her attention to the love/hate affairs of sisterhood in her second novel, In Her Shoes, which instantly became a New York Times best-seller. Audiences around the world saw In Her Shoes come to life when the film version was released by Twentieth Century Fox in October 2005, starring Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette and Shirley MacLaine. Weiner brings her charm and wit to the lecture podium, discussing her books, personal experiences and women's search for a sense of self. In the same sharp and entertaining tone that fills her novels, Weiner wins over audiences with her unforgettable comedic style, making her a favorite speaker that audiences absolutely adore.
2013 Bill Scheft
18+ years as a writer for the David Letterman Show, Bill Scheft has been a frequent creative presence on award shows, roasts and television specials, Scheft wrote for the 1995 and 2005 Academy Awards, was the head writer for three ESPY Awards and has contributed special material to the Emmys, Tonys and Grammys.
Over the last decade, Scheft spent 3 years as a columnist for Sports Illustrated, has contributed humor essays and short pieces to the New Yorker, New York Times, Esquire, TV Guide, George, Talk, Slate, Modern Humorist, the collections Mirth of a Nation, 101 Damnations, May Contain Nuts, Howl, The Enlightened Bracketologist and a few other publications that may or may not exist anymore.
2012 Dave Barry
Dave Barry is a humor columnist. For 25 years he was a syndicated columnist whose work appeared in more than 500 newspapers in the United States and abroad. In 1988 he won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Many people are still trying to figure out how this happened.
Dave has also written a total of 30 books, although virtually none of them contain useful information. Two of his books were used as the basis for the CBS TV sitcom "Dave's World," in which Harry Anderson played a much taller version of Dave. In his spare time, Dave is a candidate for president of the United States. If elected, his highest priority will be to seek the death penalty for whoever is responsible for making Americans install low-flow toilets.
2011 Dan Buettner
The Howie Stillman Young Leadership Fund
presents New York Times bestselling author
and explorer Dan Buettner.
Dan will report on the findings from
his global study on the keys to
personal happiness. In addition to
sharing his extraordinary accounts
of the happiest people on the planet,
Buettner examines how their
unique lifestyles correlate to their
extraordinary well-being. Buettner
details how to incorporate these
powerful characteristics into our daily
routine so that we, too, can thrive.
2010 Byron Pitts
Known for his thought-provoking coverage and his commitment to exceptional storytelling, Byron Pitts is a multiple Emmy award winning journalist. As Chief National Correspondent for CBS Evening News With Katie Couric Pitts was an embedded reporter covering the Iraq War and was recognized for his work under fire. Pitts was also CBS' lead correspondent at Ground Zero immediately following the September 11th attacks and won an Emmy for his coverage. A news veteran with over 20 years of experience, other major stories include the war in Afghanistan, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the military buildup in Kuwait and the refugee crisis in Kosovo, to name but a few. Pitts realized a life-long goal when he was named a Contributing Correspondent to CBS' 60 Minutes in 2009.
Pitts' many achievements are all the more extraordinary when he tells of the many obstacles he faced as a child. Raised by a single mother in a working class neighborhood in Baltimore, Pitts was illiterate until the age of twelve and had a persistent stutter. Pitts learned to read and went on to attend Ohio Wesleyan University.
Praised by 60 Minutes Correspondent Lesly Stahl as "truly moving," Pitts tells his incredible story in his memoir Step Out On Nothing: How Family and Faith Helped Me Conquer Life's Challenges (2009). Pitts shares how his faith saw him through his many struggles and how a few key people "stepped out on nothing" to help him change his life. Katie Couric praised Pitts' work, saying, "No wonder he is such an inspired storyteller—his own story is inspiring."
2009 Michael Uslan
When Michael Uslan set out to turn Batman into a movie every major studio
in Hollywood turned him down. But Uslan didn't give up and in 1989 when Batman hit the big screen it became the highest grossing film of the year
breaking numerous box office records. Join us on Sunday, April 26th as
Michael Uslan takes us along the journey of his career and shares the
principles that allowed him to persevere despite repeated rejection. You
may also learn about connections between super-heroes and Jewish lore and
traditions from how The Golem spawned The Hulk to just how similar
Superman and Moses really are.
While best known as the originator and Executive Producer of the Batman movie series starting with Tim Burton's 1989 film and continuing to 2008's The Dark Knight, Uslan has produced or been involved with numerous other
movies including National Treasure (2004). Usland is currently in
development with Shazam, and The Shadow with Sam Raimi and Josh Donen.
As an authority on comic book history Uslan has authored The Comic Book In
America, America at War: A History of Comics, and Mysteries in Space: A
History of Science Fiction Comics. He has also authored a children's book Chatterbox: The Bird Who Wore Glasses and the acclaimed graphic novel Batman: Detective #27.
2008 Alan Zweibel
An Emmy-award winning writer on the original staff of Saturday Night Live, Alan Zweibel's additional TV credits include It's Garry Shandling's Show and Curb Your Enthusiasm. He collaborated with Billy Crystal on the 2005 Tony Award-winning 700 Sundays and a year later with Martin Short on the smash Broadway hit Fame Becomes Me.
Zweibel has appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, Today and Good Morning America; his writing has graced the pages of Esquire, Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Op-Ed page and MAD Magazine. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., and graduate of the University of Buffalo, Zweibel splits time between residences in New Jersey and Los Angeles, with his wife and three children.
2007 Peter Funt
Continuing a Funt Family tradition that spans nearly 60 years on television, Peter hosts the newest versions of Candid Camera. In recent years he has been partnered with Suzanne Somers and Dina Eastwood. Peter Funt actually made his first appearance on the program when he and Allen Funt's legendary series were each just three years old. Peter posed as a shoeshine boy who charged $10 per shoe! Since that time he has appeared in hundreds of Candid Camera sequences. He took over as host in 1987. Peter has produced and hosted four highly-rated and acclaimed CBS specials, and now hosts the weekly series. In addition to his hidden-camera work, Peter Funt has produced and hosted TV specials on the Arts & Entertainment and Lifetime cable networks. He also spent five years as an editor and reporter with ABC News in New York. Peter has written dozens of articles for "The New York Times" and "TV Guide" about television and film. He was editor and publisher of the television magazine "On Cable." And he authored the book "Gotcha!" for Grosset & Dunlap on the lost art of practical joking. Peter Funt received his degree in journalism from the University of Denver. He won the 1970 Silurian's Award for the year's best radio news reporting for his coverage of racial disturbances in Asbury Park, NJ. Peter resides in Central California with his wife, Amy, and two children, Stephanie and Danny.
2006 Craig Kielburger
is an accomplished child rights advocate, leadership specialist, and award-winning author and public speaker. Kielburger founded Free The Children when he was just twelve years old. What started as a small group of classmates quickly became in international phenomenon which has helped to build more than 400 primary schools in third world countries helping to education more than 35,000 children. Craig has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize three times, received the Nelson Mandela Human Rights Award, the Roosevelt Freedom Medal, and in 2006 received the World Children’s Prize also known as the “Children’s Nobel Prize.” His first book, Free The Children, earned the Christopher Award and has since been translated into eight languages. He is co-author of the national bestseller Take Action! – A Guide to Active Citizenship. His most recent book, co-written with his brother Marc, is entitled Me to We: Turning Self-Help on Its Head has already spent more than 25 weeks on numerous national bestseller’s lists. Craig has shown that no one is too young to make a difference and has partnered with the United Nations and Oprah’s Angel Network. His work has been featured on Oprah, 60 Minutes, Time, People Magazine, and numerous newspapers around the world.
2005 Helen Thomas
The first female to work as the White House Bureau Chief for a news wire service, Thomas now works as White House correspondent and columnist for Hearst News Service. She has covered every president since John F. Kennedy. Named by the World Almanac as one of the “25 Most Influential Women in America,” Thomas is perhaps best known for wrapping up presidential press conferences with her tagline, “Thank You Mr. President” from her front row seat in the White House press room. She is also the author of Thanks for the Memories Mr. President (2002) and Front Row at the White House (1999).
2004 Joan Brock
Prior to her loss of sight, Joan worked at The Iowa Braille and Sight Saving School, where she frequently addressed groups on behalf of the school. From there it was a natural transition to a professional speaking career. She now resides in Arizona, traveling extensively on speaking engagements. Joan is the co author of More Than Meets The Eye, which has been translated into several languages and is also a Reader's Digest Condensed Book. She won the hearts of the insurance industry's "Million Dollar Round Table" and the NBC Today Show with her story of courage, perseverance and acceptance.
2003 Linda Richman
Linda is a summa cum laude graduate of the school of hard knocks. Born in the Bronx, New York, she was raised by a well-meaning but depressed mother and a loving father. When she was eight years old, her father was struck and killed by a car. Told by her mother only that he had "gone away", she didn't learn of his death until age 14. Just as she was flourishing both professionally and personally, life dealt Linda a devastating blow, when her son Jordan was killed in a car crash. From that day forward, she embarked on a search for a meaning to her life and to learn how to laugh again. Her journey, aided by her irrepressible sense of humor brought her to the Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ, where she gave lectures and taught seminars for people dealing with loss and grief. Her bestselling book I'D RATHER LAUGH: How to Be Happy Even When Life Has Other Plans for You, was featured in Newsweek, The New York Times, Glamour, Good Housekeeping and many other publications. She has appeared on Oprah, Rosie, The Today Show, The Early Show, CNN, Entertainment Tonight and hundreds of radio shows across the country. Her column, "What Can I Tell You," ran monthly in Rosie Magazine. A certified grief counselor, Linda currently lectures nationwide on the healing power of laughter and is working on her next book.
2002 Jack Klugman
Jack Klugman (born April 27, 1922 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American television and movie actor. Klugman began acting after serving in the United States Army during World War II. He starred in several classic films including 12 Angry Men and Days of Wine and Roses. He also won an Emmy Award for his work on the television series The Defenders and appeared in four episodes of the acclaimed series The Twilight Zone. He is best known for his starring roles in two popular television series of the 1970s and early 1980s: The Odd Couple (1970-1975) and Quincy, M.E. (1976-1983). In 1970, he won two Emmys for The Odd Couple. In the early 1990s, Klugman lost a vocal chord to cancer but has continued acting on stage and on television.
2001 Mitch Albom
MITCH ALBOM, 44, is a best-selling author, nationally-syndicated newspaper columnist for the Detroit Free Press, nationally-syndicated radio host for ABC and flagship station WJR-AM in Detroit, and television commentator. MITCH ALBOM is the author of eight books, including the New York Times bestseller "The Five People You Meet in Heaven", and the phenomenal bestseller "Tuesdays With Morrie". Oprah Winfrey produced a major television movie for ABC based on "Tuesdays With Morrie" that aired in December 1999 and starred Jack Lemmon and Hank Azaria. A phenomenon in its own right, the movie was not only the most-watched on any network for that year, it also earned four Emmy Awards in 2000, including those for "Best Actor" (Lemmon) and "Best Supporting Actor" (Azaria). With more than five million copies now in print, "Tuesdays With Morrie" is also published in 34 countries, in 30 languages, and was a bestseller in Japan, Australia, Brazil, and England.
2000 Charlie Girsch
In 1968 Charlie moved to the Twin Cities where he developed a job training program for Brown & Bigelow, set up Saint Paul's Model Cities Program, and was deputy director of the Saint Paul Urban Coalition before accepting the challenge of joining Winsor Concepts as a toy and game designer. Over the next 25 years, Charlie, along with his wife and partner Maria, licensed over 200 products worldwide. Together they hold several US and International patents, and have even won Germany's "Children's Game of the Year Award." In the mid-90's Charlie was recruited by the University of St. Thomas to run their Institute of Creative Studies. He also taught Creativity in their Graduate School of Business Communications as well as in their Mini MBA Programs for many years. Charlie is the co-author of Fanning the Creative Spirit, and of Creativity A La Card.
1999 Marci Shimoff
Every year, Marci Shimoff speaks to thousands of people about the importance of self esteem. Over the past 16 years she has delivered seminars and keynote addresses on self esteem, peak performance, stress management and communication. She is is known for her lively humor and dynamic delivery, and her ability to empower and inspire her audiences to achieve greater personal and professional success. Marci is president of The Esteem Group and has been a top-rated Fortune 500 trainer and consultant since 1981. She has been associated with Jack Canfield for the last six years and co-authored the best selling book, Chicken Soup for the Woman's Soul, and the recently released book, Chicken Soup for the Mother's Soul. A dynamic and entertaining speaker, Marci opens people's hearts, uplifts their spirits and transforms lives.
1998 Hamilton Jordan
Hamilton Jordan thought he had experienced tough times as Jimmy Carter's White House chief of staff, but that didn't compare to what he went through after he left Washington --- three different diagnoses of cancer, all before the age of 50. Since leaving the White House, Jordan has written two best selling books, started an NFL franchise, was named "Sport Executive Of The Year" for founding the ATP TOUR (global men's professional tennis tour) and has created numerous other successful companies, many in the health and biotechnology sectors. His cancer advocacy and unique point of view are summed up in the title of his new book, No Such Thing as a Bad Day. Released to the public in early May 2000 – the book rocketed to number 3 on The New York Times Best-Seller List in its first week.
1997 Julius Lester
began his career as a musician and political activist in the 1960s before he turned to writing. In the past 30 years, he has written more than 25 books of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Among the honors accorded his children's books are the Newbery Honor Medal for To Be A Slave and, with Jerry Pinkney, the Caldecott Honor and the Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for John Henry. He was also a National Book Award finalist for Long Journey Home. His most recent picture books are What a Truly Cool World, From Slave Ship to Freedom Road and, also illustrated by Jerry Pinkney, Black Cowboy, Wild Horses: A True Story. He is a distinguished professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He says of his work, "I write because the lives of all of us are stories. If enough of those stories are told, then perhaps we will begin to see that our lives are the same story. The differences are merely in the details."
1996 Charlie Rose
Charlie Rose has been a correspondent for 60 Minutes II since the broadcast debuted on the CBS Television Network in January 1999. Rose continues to serve as host and executive editor of "The Charlie Rose Show," the daily hour-long late-night interview program which airs on PBS stations across the country. For 60 Minutes II, he has interviewed a range of celebrities and presented profiles ranging from Formula One racecar driver Michael Schumacher to Libyan leader Muhammar Qaddafi to skateboarder Tony Hawk and musician Dave Matthews. “The Charlie Rose Show” premiered on Sept. 30, 1991 and became nationally syndicated in January 1993. Rose has engaged an extraordinary range of interviewees for "Charlie Rose," from the worlds of politics, literature, the visual and performing arts, science, business and sports. His guests have included Nelson Mandela, Yitzhak Rabin, Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Toni Morrison and Martin Scorsese, among hundreds of others. He has also hosted other outside projects, including a special for the Discovery Channel, "One on One with Roger Payne," for which he won a 1992 Emmy Award.
1995 Dr. Bertice Berry
Dr. Berry was the host and co-executive producer of her own nationally syndicated talk show, The Bertice Berry Show, and hosted USA Live, a four-hour live interview and entertainment show on the USA Cable Network. She has been featured on numerous other television programs, including appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, and BET Live with Tavis Smiley. Dr. Bertice Berry is also the best-selling author of an inspirational memoir, I'm On My Way, But Your Foot Is On My Head, and the hilarious bestsellers Sckraight From the Ghetto, You Might Be Ghetto If and the sequel You STILL Ghetto. Her first work of fiction, Redemption Song, published by Double Day in 2000, is also a best seller and has been praised by critics for its ability to entertain, inspire and educate. Dr. Berry followed Redemption Song with another bestseller, The Haunting of Hip Hop and took her readers on a journey to the other side. In August 2002, she released her most passionate work ever with Jim & Louella's Homemade Heart-fix Remedy, a tantalizing yet spiritual tale that opens more than the reader's eyes.
1994 Calvin Trillin
A long time staff writer for The New Yorker, especially remembered for a highly praised series of articles called "U.S. Journal," he has also written and presented two one-man shows at the American Place Theatre in New York - both of them critically acclaimed and both sell-outs. In reviewing "Words, No Music," The New York Times theatre critic called Trillin "the Buster Keaton of performance humorists." His many columns for The Nation, writing what USA Today called "simply the funniest regular column in journalism," and also his weekly column for Time produced five collections: UNCIVIL LIBERTIES WITH ALL DISRESPECT IF YOU CAN'T SAY SOMETHING NICE ENOUGH'S ENOUGH TOO SOON TO TELL. Then, too, there are his three antic books on eating, now compiled into one volume as THE TUMMY TRILOGY: AMERICAN FRIED; ALICE, LET'S EAT and THIRD HELPINGS
1993 Charlayne Hunter-Gault
Charlayne made civil rights history as the first African American woman to graduate from the University of Georgia in 1962, and has gone on to establish herself as one of television's premier journalists. She joined The MacNeil/Lehrer Report in 1978 as a correspondent, and became The NewsHour's national correspondent in 1983. Charlayne served as a "Talk of the Town" reporter for The New Yorker. After winning a Russell Sage Fellowship to Washington University, she was on the staff of Trans-Action magazine. Charlayne has won two Emmys and a Peabody for excellence in broadcast journalism for her work on Apartheid's People, a NewsHour series on South Africa. She also received the 1986 Journalist of the Year Award from the National Association of Black Journalists; the 1990 Sidney Hillman Award; the Good Housekeeping Broadcast Personality of the Year Award; the American Women in Radio and Television Award; and two awards from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting for excellence in local programming. Charlayne is author of In My Place, (1992), a memoir about her experiences at the University of Georgia.
1992 George Plimpton
In 1953, Plimpton co-founded The Paris Review, a quarterly magazine with a reputation for publishing the work of writers who would later become some of the world's most important authors. In the 1960s, Plimpton became known for "participatory" journalism. He boxed with Archie Moore, pitched to baseball legend Willie Mays, played in pro-am golf tournaments and even performed in the circus. His best-selling book Paper Lion chronicled the time he spent in training camp with the Detroit Lions football team, posing as a slender, awkward quarterback candidate from Harvard. The story became a movie starring Alan Alda. Plimpton acted himself in numerous films, including Reds and Good Will Hunting.
1991 Neal Karlen
Neal writes regularly for The New York Times and is a member of the adjunct faculty of the University of Minnesota journalism school. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, GQ, Elle, The Forward, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, and Olam.
1990 Jacqui Banaszynski
Jacqui is currently the Knight Chair in Editing at The University of Missouri School of Journalism as well as The Assistant Managing Editor at The Seattle Times. Among the achievements of her 30-year career as a reporter and editor at newspapers in the Upper Midwest and Pacific Northwest is a Pulitzer Prize in feature writing that she earned while at the St. Paul Pioneer Press. For more information about Jacqui Banaszynski click here.
1989 Bob Greene
Bob Greene is a syndicated columnist for the Chicago Tribune. As a magazine writer, he has been lead columnist for Life and Esquire; as a broadcast journalist, he has served as contributing correspondent for ABC News Nightline. His news commentaries can be seen on television superstation WGN. His bestselling books include: Duty: A Father, His Son, and the Man Who Won the War; Be True to Your School; Hang Time: Days and Dreams with Michael Jordan; Good Morning Merry Sunshine; and, with his sister, D.G. Fulford, To Our Children's Children: Preserving Family Histories for Generations to Come. His first novel, All Summer Long, has been published in a paperback edition
1988 Michael Medved
Michael Medved is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host, best-selling author and veteran film critic. His daily three-hour program, emphasizing the intersection of politics and pop culture, reaches more than 2 million listeners in over 180 markets, coast to coast. For seven consecutive years, he’s been listed by Talkers Magazine as one of their “Heavy Hundred” most important American talk show hosts, and for four of those years his show has also been listed as one of the ratings top ten. Medved is also the author of RightTurns.
1987 Judith Viorst
is the author of eight collections of poetry and five books of prose, including the bestseller Necessary Losses and her comic novel, Murdering Mr. Monti. In Necessary Losses, she explored how our lives are shaped the various losses we experience -- from the loss of our mothers' sheltering arms, to the loss of our impossible expectations, to the loss of options and muscle tone as we age, to the loss of loved ones in and out of season. Now, in Imperfect Control, she shows us how our sense of self and all our important relationships are colored by our struggles over control; over wanting it and taking it, loving it and fearing it, and figuring out when the time has come to surrender it. Viorst has also written twelve children's books, among them the classic Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. A graduate of the Washington Psychoanalytic Institute, she is the recipient of various awards for her journalism and psychological writings. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, political writer Milton Viorst. They have three sons.