Eugene V. Debs Award

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The Eugene V. Debs Award is an award accorded by the Eugene V. Debs Foundation, in Terre Haute, Indiana, each year since 1965, honoring a person whose work has been consistent with the spirit, values, and legacy of Eugene V. Debs and who has contributed to the advancement of the causes of industrial unionism, social justice, or world peace.


Year Recipient Field Description
1965 John L. Lewis Industrial Unionism Labor leader, served as president of the United Mine Workers of America from 1920 to 1960.
1966 Norman Thomas World Peace American Presbyterian minister who achieved fame as a socialist, pacifist, and six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America.
1967 A. Philip Randolph Industrial Unionism, Social Justice Civil rights leader, labor leader, socialist political leader.
1968 Walter Reuther Industrial Unionism American labor union leader, who made the United Automobile Workers a major force not only in the auto industry but also in the Democratic Party and the Congress of Industrial Organizations in the mid 20th century.
1969 H.E. Gilbert Industrial Unionism President, Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen and Enginemen
1970 Patrick E. Gorman Industrial Unionism President, Amalgamated Meat Cutters
1972 Dorothy Day Social Justice, World Peace American journalist, and social activist
1973 Michael Harrington Social Justice American democratic socialist, writer, and political activist
1974 Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. Social Justice American historian, social critic, and public intellectual
1975 Ruben Levin Industrial Unionism Founder, Labor Press Associates Manager and editor of LABOR magazine
1976 Martin H. Miller Industrial Unionism National Legislative Representative for the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen
1977 Frank Zeidler Social Justice American Socialist politician and Mayor of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1978 Jesse Jackson Social Justice American civil rights activist, Baptist minister, and politician
1979 Pete Seeger Social Justice American folk singer and social activist
1980 William W. Winpisinger Industrial Unionism International President, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers
1981 Kurt Vonnegut Social Justice, World Peace American writer
1982 Coretta Scott King Social Justice American author, activist, civil rights leader, and the wife of Martin Luther King, Jr.
1983 Studs Terkel Social Justice American author, historian, actor, and broadcaster
1984 William H. Wynn Industrial Unionism Founder/Organizer, United Food and Commercial Workers
1985 Jack Sheinkman Industrial Unionism President, Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union
1986 Joseph L. Rauh Jr. Social Justice Civil rights and civil liberties attorney
1987 Ed Asner Social Justice, Industrial Unionism Actor, activist, president, Screen Actors Guild
1988 Joyce D. Miller Social Justice, Industrial Unionism Labor activist, feminist, founding member of the Coalition of Labor Union Women
1989 Morton Bahr Industrial Unionism President, Communications Workers of America
1990 Lynn R. Williams Industrial Unionism Canadian labour leader; President, United Steelworkers
1991 John Sayles Social Justice American independent film director, screenwriter, editor, actor and novelist
1992 Ralph Nader Social Justice American political activist, author, lecturer, and attorney
1993 Dolores Huerta Industrial Unionism, Social Justice American labor leader and civil rights activist; Co-founder, National Farmworkers Association
1994 Richard Trumka Industrial Unionism Organized labor leader; President, United Mine Workers
1995 Jim Hightower Social Justice American syndicated columnist, progressive political activist, and author
1996 Victor Saul Navasky Social Justice American journalist, editor and academic
1997 John Sweeney Industrial Unionism Labor leader; President, AFL-CIO
1998 Howard Zinn Social Justice, World Peace American historian, playwright, and social activist
1999 Gloria Tapscott Johnson Social Justice, Industrial Unionism American unionist, labor feminist
2000 Michael Sullivan Industrial Unionism President, United Mine Workers
2001 Al Chesser Industrial Unionism National Legislative Director, United Transportation Union
2002 Julian Bond Social Justice Social activist, civil rights leader, politician, professor and writer
2003 Molly Ivins Social Justice American newspaper columnist, author, political commentator, and humorist
2004 Bruce S. Raynor Industrial Unionism Unionist; President, Workers United; General President of UNITE HERE
2005 Thomas Frank Social Justice American political analyst, historian, journalist, and columnist
2006 Brave New Films Social Justice Media/news/documentary company
2007 Barbara Ehrenreich Social Justice American author and political activist
2008 Cecil Roberts Industrial Unionism President, United Mine Workers of America
2009 Ron Gettelfinger Industrial Unionism President, United Auto Workers
2010 Bobby Duvall Social Justice Human rights advocate
2011 Danny Glover Social Justice Actor, civil rights activist, political activist
2012 Clayola Brown Industrial Unionism, Social Justice Union leader, civil rights activist
2013 Eliseo Medina Industrial Unionism, Social Justice Mexican-American labor union activist
2014 Sara Horowitz Industrial Unionism Founder, Freelancers Union
2015 James Boland Industrial Unionism President, International Union of Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers
2016 Cindy Sheehan World Peace, Social Justice Peace activist, political activist
2017 Jobs With Justice Industrial Unionism, Social Justice Labor equality organization
2018 William "Bill" Lucy Industrial Unionism, Social Justice Union leader, Civil rights activist

See also[edit]


"Eugene V. Debs Award". Eugene V. Debs Foundation Website. Eugene V. Debs Foundation. 2017-09-18.