(Click play to see acceptance speech at awards dinner.)
Taylor Branch, whose Pulitzer Prize-winning trilogy America in the King Years is widely considered
the definitive history of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement, will accept the special
Dayton Literary Peace Prize for Lifetime Achievement at a ceremony in Dayton, Ohio on September 28, 2008.
Previous Lifetime Achievement honorees include authors Studs Terkel and Elie Wiesel.
Branch has won nearly every major American literary award for his acclaimed trilogy America in the
King Years, an epic history of the civil rights era spanning Martin Luther King, Jr.’s political
beginnings in 1954 through his assassination in 1968. The trilogy includes the Pulitzer Prize-winning
Parting the Waters (1988), which also won the National Book Critics Circle Award; Pillar of Fire
(1998); and At Canaan’s Edge (2006).
"Through his extraordinary work, Taylor Branch has reminded us all that Dr. King’s legacy to humankind
was not just his leadership on civil rights, but his commitment to the power of nonviolence,” said
Sharon Rab, chair of the Dayton Literary Peace Prize Committee. “On the fortieth anniversary of King’s
death, we could not think of an author more deserving of this honor.”
"I am honored to be recognized by the Dayton Literary Peace Prize in the cause of peace, and humbled
to be mentioned in the company of Studs Terkel and Elie Wiesel" said Branch.