North Carolina Award
The North Carolina Award is the highest civilian award bestowed by the U.S. state of North Carolina. It is awarded in the four fields of science, literature, the fine arts, and public service. Sometimes referred to as the "Nobel Prize of North Carolina", the award has been given to up to nine individuals each year since 1964. The awards, provided for by chapters 140A and 143B of the North Carolina General Statutes, are chosen by the North Carolina Awards Committee appointed by the Governor of North Carolina and supervised by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
The award itself was designed by sculptor Paul Manship and was one of the last commissions he completed before his death.
History of the Award
The award was proposed by state Senator Robert Lee Humber of Pitt County, who hoped that the award would inspire others to excel in their fields for the betterment of North Carolina. He would go on to win the award for public service in 1968.
Biographical essays are available for each North Carolina Award recipient in the ceremony program for that year. Ceremony programs are online through the North Carolina Digital Collections.