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2010 Library Lions Malcolm Gladwell, Ethan Hawke, Paul LeClerc, Steve Martin, and Zadie Smith Fêted on Monday, November 1


The New York Public Library Honored Malcolm Gladwell, Ethan Hawke, Paul LeClerc, Steve Martin, and Zadie Smith at Annual Library Lions Gala on Monday, November 1

The New York Public Library’s 2010 Library Lions gala honored five remarkable individuals for their contributions to the world of ideas on Monday, November 1. This year, the Library tipped its hat to author Malcolm Gladwell; actor, screenwriter, novelist Ethan Hawke; New York Public Library President Paul LeClerc; actor and writer Steve Martin; and novelist Zadie Smith. 

The black-tie gala, sponsored by Asprey, was held at the landmark Stephen A. Schwarzman building, located at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. Over 600 guests enjoyed cocktails in the third floor Salomon Room, followed by dinner in the splendidly transformed Rose Main Reading Room. The evening closed with a lively benefit party themed The Silver Screen hosted by the Young Lions, a membership group of New Yorkers in their 20s and 30s who support the work of the Library. The evening raised nearly $3 million.

“The individuals we are honoring this November represent the very essence of distinction and imagination in their respective fields,” said Catherine Marron, Chairman of the Library in announcing the honorees earlier this year. “The Library, along with our group of devoted Library Lions co-chairs, is proud to recognize their achievements as part of this year’s annual benefit.”

The event’s co-chairs were Sharon and Chris Davis, Annette and Oscar de la Renta, Princess Firyal, Susan and John Hess, Jenny and John Paulson, Elizabeth and Felix Rohatyn, Christine and Stephen Schwarzman, and Merryl and James Tisch.

Young Lions benefit party co-chairs were Emma Bloomberg, Nick Brown, Jill Demling, Michael Hess, Hudson Morgan, Andrea L. Olshan, and Jessica Tisch.

The lush autumnal décor for the evening was designed by David Monn. Catering was provided by Glorious Food.


Contact:  Jennifer Lam, 212.592.7700 or Jennifer_Lam(at)nypl(dot)org

About the 2010 Library Lions

Malcolm Gladwell has been a staff writer with The New Yorker magazine since 1996. In 2005 he was named one of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People. He is the author of four books, The Tipping Point: How Little Things Make a Big Difference (2000), Blink: the Power of Thinking without Thinking (2005), and Outliers: The Story of Success (2008) all of which were number one New York Times bestsellers. His latest book, What the Dog Saw (2009) is a compilation of stories published in The New Yorker.

Ethan Hawke is an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter and actor. His novels include The Hottest State and Ash Wednesday.  He is also a long-time supporter of The New York Public Library, and the co-founder of the Library’s Young Lions Fiction Award.

Paul LeClerc is President and Chief Executive Officer of The New York Public Library. Under his guidance and through the enthusiastic support and involvement of the Library’s Board, The New York Public Library has implemented a targeted series of initiatives that have made it a world-wide leader in the field of information collecting and distribution. These initiatives, backed by a $724 million capital campaign that concluded in 2000, include: strategic alliances with the most important collections in Western Europe, South America, and Russia; creating for the public’s use one of the most advanced IT systems in any library; creating a robust web site that is presently receiving one billion “hits” per year and serving readers from 200 different countries (the web site is the most heavily used web site of any cultural organization in New York.); acquiring prestigious new collections for the research libraries and achieving substantial new public funding for branch library collections; systematic renovation and modernization of the Library’s historic buildings; and creating a new Center for Scholars and Writers at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building at Fifth Avenue.

Steve Martin is an actor, playwright, author, and musician. His written works include the play Picasso at the Lapin Agile; the novella Shopgirl; and the memoir, Born Standing Up.  As an actor, he has appeared in over 30 films, and numerous television shows. In 2005, he won the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, America’s foremost award for humor. He is also the recipient of four Grammy Awards Won four Grammy Awards—two for Best Comedy Album (Let's Get Small, 1978 and A Wild and Crazy Guy, 1979), one for Best Country Instrumental Performance (for his banjo performance of "Foggy Mountain Breakdown", 2001), and one for Best Bluegrass Album (The Crow: New Songs for the 5-String Banjo, 2009).

Zadie Smith was born in North London in 1975 to an English father and a Jamaican mother. She read English at Cambridge, graduating in 1997. Her acclaimed first novel, White Teeth (2000), is a vibrant portrait of contemporary multicultural London, told through the story of three ethnically diverse families. The book won a number of awards and prizes, including the Guardian First Book Award, the Whitbread First Novel Award, and the Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best First Book). Her other work includes Piece of Flesh (2001), The Autograph Man (2002), On Beauty (2005), Fail Better (2006), and a book of essays Changing My Mind (2009).