CHICAGO, November 17, 2008 –President George W. Bush today awarded the prestigious National Humanities Medal for 2008 to WGN Radio’s Milt Rosenberg during a ceremony held in the White House East Room. Rosenberg, who has hosted the top-rated program “Extension 720” on WGN Radio since 1973, is being recognized, as stated during the award presentation ceremony today, “for bringing the world of ideas to millions of listeners. Combining a scholar’s understanding and a teacher’s openness, he has made a home in radio for elevated conversation and profound thought.”
The National Humanities Medal, first awarded in 1989 as the Charles Frankel Prize, honors individuals or groups whose work has deepened the nation’s understanding of the humanities, broadened our citizens’ engagement with the humanities, or helped preserve and expand Americans’ access to important resources in the humanities. In total, nine distinguished Americans, one museum, and a philanthropic foundation were honored this year for their exemplary contributions to the humanities and were recognized for their scholarship, literary works, philanthropy, and preservation efforts.
The Humanities Medal is the most prestigious award in the humanities. Over the last decade, including this year’s recipients, the National Humanities Medal has been awarded to only 107 individuals and 9 organizations. Among those recognized during this time period are: Bernard Lewis, Judith “Miss Manners” Martin, Madeleine L’Engle, Harvey Mansfield, and John Updike.
Medal recipients do not compete for this award but are specially selected by the President for their life-long achievements in their diverse areas of expertise.
Since 1973, Milt Rosenberg, Professor Emeritus of Social Psychology at the University of Chicago, has been host of WGN Radio’s “Extension 720″, a two-hour discussion show with one hour reserved for call-ins. The program, which airs Monday through Friday from 9 to 11 p.m., deals with topics ranging from politics to astrophysics to financial investment to evolutionary biology to entertainment to religion to foreign policy to literature. A detailed profile of Rosenberg is available at: http://www.neh.gov/news/archive/2008_Medalists.html