November 17, 2006
By Elisabeth Grant
John Hope Franklin, emeritus professor of history at Duke University and past president of the AHA, has won the prestigious John W. Kluge Prize for lifetime achievement in the study of humanity. He shares the honor with Yu Ying-shih, emeritus Professor of East Asian Studies and History at Princeton University, who will receives the other half of the $1 million prize.
This is the third time the Kluge prize has been awarded by the Library of Congress to recognize the achievements of scholars in the fields of history, philosophy, politics, anthropology, sociology, religion, criticism in the arts and humanities, and linguistics (all of which are fields that don’t receive Nobel prizes). Franklin and Yu will be presented their awards on December 5, 2006 at the Library of Congress.
John Hope Franklin is perhaps best known for his efforts to include the African American experience into the study of American History. His publications include The Free Negro in North Carolina, From Slavery to Freedom, and The Emancipation Proclamation to name a few. In 2005 he published his autobiography Mirror to America. Besides his work in academia (which spans 70 years), Franklin was an active participant in the civil rights movement, has been an expert witness, and worked with President Bill Clinton’s administration.
For more on Franklin and Yu’s accomplishments and on the Kluge Prize itself see the Library of Congress press release.