SheWired: MSNBC host Rachel Maddow has been named this year’s recipient of the prestigious John Steinbeck Award, given to public figures who exemplify the late author’s values.
Maddow is the third woman to win the award and the first recipient under 40, reports Media Bistro. The award, presented by the Martha Heasley Cox Center for Steinbeck Studies at San Jose State University in California, is “given annually to honor an artist, thinker, activist who has made a significant contribution to causes that matter to the common person,” according to the center’s website. “It is also known as the ‘In the Souls of the People’ Award.”
Steinbeck is famed as the author of many novels, including The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and Of Mice and Men, as well as nonfiction works. In a press release announcing the award, his son Thomas Steinbeck said, “My father would have adored Rachel Maddow. … Listening to Rachel Maddow is like listening to Walter Cronkite. We have that kind of trust in her. When I watch Rachel Maddow, I feel like I’m part of an alliance. I hope she’s in it for the long haul, because we really need her.”
Past recipients of the prize, first given in 1996, include Bruce Springsteen, Arthur Miller, Studs Terkel, Joan Baez, and Dolores Huerta. Maddow will accept the award and appear in conversation with radio host Pat Thurston in An Evening With Rachel Maddow at 7:30 p.m. February 25 at the university’s Morris Dailey Auditorium. For more information, click here.