Lawrence O'Brien Award

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The Democratic National Committee (DNC) Lawrence O'Brien Award was created in 1992 by the family of Lawrence Francis "Larry" O'Brien Jr. (1917-1990) and Democratic Party leaders to recognize the many years of service he gave to the party and his belief in the contribution of party volunteers. Since then, party leaders presented this award on five occasions to 94 winners from across the United States.

The award honors the importance of this contribution to the continuing success and vitality of the party. It's given to individuals and groups who exhibit a high degree of commitment and self-sacrifice on behalf of the party and its candidates.

The award was expanded in 1998 to help mark the 150th anniversary of the DNC. Party leaders honored an individual or group from every commonwealth, district, state and territory and six individuals nationally.[1] Through the generosity of the O'Brien family, award winners also received financial grants.

A news report which was published in 2000 by Insight magazine described a 1998 controversy about e-mail messages which were written between Clinton-Gore Administration staff members and 1996 presidential reelection campaign staffers about political fundraising by Administration staffers. Some of the messages were written in 1996 and solicited the award for a campaign contributor.


Award winners are selected from among many nominations received from party leaders, appointed and elected public officials, and other Democrats in the United States. Each winner worked at the local-, state- or national-party levels, including assisting candidates for elected public office. Furthermore, the winners made personal, family or financial sacrifices, or otherwise showed unusual or extraordinary dedication to the furtherance of the goals of the party, without financial remuneration or professional gain.



  1. ^ Grossman, Steve; Gov. Roy Romer (1998-09-26). 1998 Lawrence O'Brien Awards: Recognizing Democratic Party Achievement. Washington: Democratic National Committee.

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