On 15 November 2006 the Library of Congress announced that John Hope Franklin and Yu Ying-shih were the winners of the 2006 John W. Kluge Prize for the study of humanity. John Hope Franklin is James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of History at Duke; Yu is an emeritus professor of East Asian studies and history at Princeton.
The Kluge Prize rewards lifetime achievement in the wide range of disciplines not covered by the Nobel prizes, including history, philosophy, politics, anthropology, sociology, religion, criticism in the arts and humanities, and linguistics. The monetary value of the prize is $1 million, which professors Franklin and Yu will share.
Professor Franklin’s many publications include The Emancipation Proclamation, The Militant South, The Free Negro in North Carolina, Reconstruction After the Civil War, and A Southern Odyssey: Travelers in the Ante-bellum North. Perhaps his best known book is From Slavery to Freedom: A History of African-Americans, now in its seventh edition. His autobiography, Mirror to America, was published in 2005.
Commenting on John Hope Franklin, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington said, “Dr. Franklin is the leading scholar in the establishment of African-American history as a key area in the professional study of American history in the second half of the 20th century. The transformation he has helped bring about in how we think about American history and society will stand as his lasting intellectual legacy.”
To read John Hope Franklin’s response on the occasion of receiving the Kluge Prize, go to http://www.loc.gov/loc/kluge/docs/franklin_kluge_2006.pdf. To learn more about Duke’s John Hope Franklin Collection of African and African American Documentation, go to http://library.duke.edu/specialcollections/franklin/.