Great Lives/BIO Announce First Plutarch Award

At the annual meeting of Biographers International Organization in New York City on May 18, the first Plutarch Award, sponsored jointly by BIO and the Chappell Great Lives Series, was presented to Robert Caro for his The Passage of Power, the latest work in his multi-volume Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Lyndon Johnson.

Participating in the presentation ceremony were former BIO president Nigel Hamilton, biographer of John F. Kennedy and Bill Clinton; current BIO president James McGrath Morris, biographer of Joseph Pulitzer and former Great Lives speaker; current BIO vice-president Brian Jay Jones, author of the upcoming biography of Jim Henson; and Debby Applegate, author of Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Henry Ward Beecher.

The award, named after the ancient Greek biographer, is envisioned as the biography profession’s equivalent of the Oscars. Winners are determined by secret ballot  by BIO members from a list of nominees selected by a committee of distinguished members of the profession, including as an ex officio member Great Lives director William B. Crawley.

The Great Lives series was represented at the meeting by Professor Crawley; Vice-President for Advancement and University Relations Torre Merringolo; and Lori Izykowski, Executive Assistant to the Vice-President for University Advancement, who also serves as Administrator and Membership Coordinator for BIO.

1BIO President James McGrath Morris with previous Great Lives speakers Catherine Clinton (on Harriet Tubman) and Harriet Reisen (on Louisa May Alcott)

2Jamie Morris flanked by Katherine Hourigan, managing editor of Knopf, who accepted the Plutarch award on behalf of Robert Caro, and BIO Vice-President Brian Jay Jones

3Conference participants and former Great Lives speakers Carl Rollyson (Marilyn Monroe) and David Stewart (Aaron Burr)

4BIO Luncheon at Roosevelt Hotel, site of 2013 Annual Conference


  1. V.P.Rao says:

    I am so proud of UMW’s Great lives series lectures. We have had a chance to listen so many illustrious speakers/writers who have won the prizes.The series being part of the Plutarsh prize is great pride..