Lincoln Presidential Foundation Announces Jon Meacham Will Receive the 2024 Lincoln Leadership Prize


The Lincoln Presidential Foundation (“Foundation”) announced that it will award its prestigious Lincoln Leadership Prize to acclaimed historian Jon Meacham for his exceptional contributions to the historical canon and public understanding of American democracy.

The Lincoln Leadership Prize, to be presented during an in-person dinner on May 21st at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago (120 East Delaware Place), is an annual award that recognizes notable individuals for a lifetime of exceptional service in the spirit of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. The award honors individuals who accept the responsibilities imposed by history and demanded by conscience, who show great strength of character and exhibit unwavering commitment to the defining principles of democracy.

Jon Meacham is a Pulitzer Prize–winning biographer and scholar of American politics and public life. He has authored several New York Times bestsellers, including his most recent book, And There Was Light: Abraham Lincoln and the American Struggle, which spent 16 weeks on the bestseller list and has received several awards. Meacham holds the Carolyn T. and Robert M. Rogers Chair in the American Presidency at Vanderbilt University, where he also co-chairs the Vanderbilt Project on Unity & Democracy. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the Society of American Historians, Meacham has written for various publications including Time, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Vanity Fair. He is also a regular guest on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” and other broadcasts.

“Jon Meacham’s insights into President Abraham Lincoln and our nation’s history are nothing short of inspiring,” said Foundation Board Chair Sergio ‘Satch’ Pecori. “We’re proud to honor him and his exceptional contributions to American history with this year’s Lincoln Leadership Prize.”

“I am very honored by the Foundation's recognition,” said Jon Meacham. “At such a critical time for American democracy—a democracy Abraham Lincoln did so much to save and to shape—we can never learn enough from Lincoln's example, and the Foundation is doing important work to keep that example alive and resonant.”

“Jon Meacham is a master storyteller. Just as Abraham Lincoln did in his time, Meacham is able to extract the big ideas from the nation’s complex past with good sense—and often good humor,” said Erin Carlson Mast, Lincoln Presidential Foundation’s CEO. “His work empowers all of us to be informed participants in the American story.”

The Foundation has awarded the Lincoln Leadership Prize annually since 2006. In addition to last year’s recipient, Jim Reynolds, former recipients include: Corporate Leader Mellody Hobson; Philanthropist David Rubenstein; 43rd President of the United States George W. Bush; Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair; Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson; Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin; Civil Rights Activists The Little Rock Nine; Filmmaker Steven Spielberg; 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton; former Polish President Lech Walesa; Journalist Tim Russert; Astronaut James Lovell, Jr; Archbishop Desmond Tutu; and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

The Lincoln Leadership Prize event is the primary fundraiser for the Lincoln Presidential Foundation. For more information about the Lincoln Leadership Prize, please visit For tickets and/or table sponsorship information please contact Phyllis Evans at

About the Lincoln Presidential Foundation

Established in 2000, the Lincoln Presidential Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public charity headquartered in Illinois. It is the only national foundation focused on increasing access to history, educational programs, exhibits, and sites highlighting the life and legacy of Abraham Lincoln. The Foundation does its work in cooperation and partnership with others locally, nationally, and globally. Its vision is a world where freedom and democracy flourish, inspired by the life and work of Abraham Lincoln. Learn more at

# # #

Media Contact:

Grace DuFour
(301) 337-0708