The Richard Nelson Current Award of Achievement

The Lincoln Forum’s annual achievement award was established in 1996, and renamed in 1998 for founding advisor Richard Nelson Current, the dean of Lincoln scholars (October 5, 1912-October 26, 2012). The award is a statuette titled “Freedom River” created by acclaimed sculpture John McClarey of Decatur, Illinois. The award has been given to the individuals listed below, acknowledging their contributions to the spirit of Lincoln in both word and deed.

Freedom River, The John McClarey Sculpture awarded to winners of the annual Richard Nelson Current Award of Achievement

Richard Nelson Current

Henry Ballone - Photographer

  • 2018 David. W. Blight

  • 2017 Ron Chernow

  • 2016 Dr. James I. (Bud) Robertson, Jr.,

  • 2015 William C. (Jack) Davis, Edward Steers Jr., and Harold Holzer

  • 2014 James Getty

  • 2013 Tony Kushner

  • 2012 Eric Foner

  • 2011 Ed Bearss

  • 2010 Mark E. Neely Jr.

  • 2009 Sandra Day O’Connor

  • 2008 Ken Burns

  • 2007 Jeff Shaara

  • 2006 Doris Kearns Goodwin and Charles DeForest Platt

  • 2005 John McClarey and Frank J. Williams

  • 2004 John Y. Simon

  • 2003 Sam Waterston

  • 2002 James M. McPherson

  • 2001 Garry Wills

  • 2000 David Herbert Donald and Richard Nelson Current

  • 1999 Former U.S. Senator Paul Simon of Illinois

  • 1998 John Hope Franklin

  • 1997 Brian Lamb

  • 1996 Gabor S. Boritt

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