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Historian George Chauncey has received a $500,000 lifetime achievement award from the Library of Congress, the John W. Kluge Prize, the first time the honor has gone to a scholar in LGBTQ studies.
The prize is given for achievement in the study of humanity. Chauncey, a professor of American history at Columbia University, is known for such books as “Gay New York” and “Why Marriage? The History Shaping Today’s Debate over Gay Equality.”
“Professor Chauncey’s trailblazing career gave us all better insight into, and understanding of, the LGBTQ+ community and history,” Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden said in a statement released Wednesday. “His work that helped transform our nation’s attitudes and laws, epitomizes the Kluge Center’s mission to support research at the intersection of the humanities and public policy.”
The Kluge prize is named for the late philanthropist and television mogul. Previous winners include Drew Gilpin Faust and John Hope Franklin.
“I am deeply honored to receive the Kluge Prize,” Chauncey said in a statement, “and grateful that the Library of Congress has recognized the importance and vibrancy of the field of LGBTQ history.”