Studs and Ida Terkel Author Fund

“Studs Terkel is more than a writer; he is a national resource. Many write about presidents; Studs gets to the deeper heart of our history and our national life.”
—John Kenneth Galbraith

“Studs Terkel has got people to say things in such a way that you know at once they have finally said their truth and said it better than they ever believed they could say it.”
Chicago Sunday Times

“Studs Terkel captures the melody of America.”
—Nicholas von Hoffman

Pulitzer Prize winner Studs Terkel was an American original. For over fifty years, Studs sought out and recorded the voices of thousands of people from all walks of life—soldiers, steelworkers, politicians, athletes, activists, and musicians, among many others—unlocking a major part of the story of America in the twentieth century. Beginning with his pathbreaking Hard Times: America in the Great Depression, through the bestselling Working, the prize-winning “The Good War”, his career-crowning exploration of death and the possibility of rebirth, Will the Circle Be Unbroken?, and his final book, P.S.: Further Thoughts from a Lifetime of Listening, a memoir published in his ninety-sixth year, Studs has pioneered the creative genre of oral history, mastering the art of crafting award-winning books from first-person stories. Among his many accolades, Studs was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, he was awarded a Presidential National Humanities Medal, and his birthday has officially been declared Studs Terkel day in his hometown of Chicago. Studs received lifetime achievement awards from the National Book Critics Circle in 2004 and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize in 2006.

On the occasion of his ninetieth birthday, May 16, 2001, Studs and his son Dan announced the formation of the Studs and Ida Terkel Author Fund. The Fund is devoted to supporting the work of promising authors in a range of fields who share Studs’s fascination with the many dimensions of everyday life in America, and who, like Studs, are committed to exploring aspects of America that are not adequately represented by the mainstream media. The Terkel Fund furnishes authors with the vital support they need to conduct their research and writing, providing a new generation of writers the freedom to experiment and innovate, in the spirit of Studs’s own work.

Past Studs and Ida Terkel Award winners:

Lawrence Lanahan for The Lines Between Us: Two Families and a Quest to Cross Baltimore's Racial Divide

Janet Bell for Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement

Mary Otto for Teeth: The Story of Beauty, Inequality, and the Struggle for Oral Health in America

David Dayen for Chain of Title: How Three Ordinary Americans Uncovered Wall Street’s Great Foreclosure Fraud

Aaron Swartz for The Boy Who Could Change the World: The Writings of Aaron Swartz

Beth Zasloff and Joshua Steckel for Hold Fast to Dreams: A College Guidance Counselor, His Students, and the Vision of a Life Beyond Poverty

Barbara J. Miner for Lessons from the Heartland: A Turbulent Half-Century of Public Education in an  Iconic American City

Lynn Powell for Framing Innocence: A Mother’s Photographs, a Prosecutor’s Zeal, and a Small Town’s Response

Lauri Lebo for The Devil in Dover: An Insider’s Story of Dogma v. Darwin in Small-Town America