Library Lions Honorees
The 2017 Library Lions are Tom Brokaw, Michael Chabon, Carla Hayden, Colson Whitehead, and Robert Wilson.
Tom Brokaw has spent his entire distinguished journalism career with NBC News. He got his start in 1966 in the Los Angeles bureau, where he covered Ronald Reagan’s first run for public office and the rise of the Sixties counter culture before becoming anchor and managing editor of NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw. In addition, Brokaw reported on more than thirty documentaries covering subjects ranging from AIDS, gangs, race, education, immigration, and global warming. He is the author of several books on American history and society in the 20th century including, most recently, A Life Interrupted: A Memoir. Brokaw has won every major award for his craft, and in November 2014 was awarded the Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama.
Michael Chabon is a celebrated name in contemporary literature—one of America’s most distinctive voices. He is the bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, A Model World, Wonder Boys, Werewolves in their Youth, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Summerland, The Final Solution, The Yiddish Policemen's Union, Maps & Legends, Gentlemen of the Road, Telegraph Avenue, Moonglow, and the picture book The Astonishing Secret of Awesome Man. He lives in Berkeley, California with his wife, the novelist Ayelet Waldman, and their children.
Carla Hayden was sworn in as the 14th Librarian of Congress on September 14, 2016, the first woman and the first African American to lead the national library. Prior to this post, she served as CEO of the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore; deputy commissioner and chief librarian of the Chicago Public Library; assistant professor for Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh; and library services coordinator for the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Hayden was president of the American Library Association from 2003 to 2004 and in 1995 she was the first African American to receive Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year Award.
Colson Whitehead is the #1 New York Times bestselling and Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Underground Railroad, winner of the 2016 National Book Award, and named one of the Ten Best Books of the Year by the New York Times Book Review. His other titles include The Noble Hustle, Zone One, Sag Harbor, The Intuitionist, John Henry Days, Apex Hides the Hurt, and The Colossus of New York. Whitehead was a 2007-2008 Fellow at The New York Public Library's Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers, and in 2002 he won the Library's Young Lions Fiction Award. He is also a recipient of the MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships. Whitehead curently lives in New York City.
Robert Wilson is among the world’s foremost theater and visual artists. His works for the stage integrate a wide variety of artistic media and have earned the acclaim of audiences and critics worldwide. Wilson founded the New York‐based performance collective “The Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds” in the mid‐1960s and developed his first signature works, including Deafman Glance (1970), A Letter for Queen Victoria (1974‐1975), and with Philip Glass, the seminal opera Einstein on the Beach (1976). Wilson has been honored with numerous awards for excellence and holds 8 Honorary Doctorate degrees. He is the founder and Artistic Director of The Watermill Center, a laboratory for the arts in Water Mill, New York.