Angelou, Lear to receive Marian Anderson Award

August 4, 2008 1:24:46 PM PDT
This year's recipients are no strangers to awards.

Maya Angelou and Norman Lear will share the 2008 Marian Anderson Award.

Mayor Michael Nutter says Lear and Angelou were chosen because of their ability to "change society through their art and the courage of (their) convictions."

Eighty-year-old Angelou has written more than a dozen best-selling books including "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings," as well as three Grammy-winning spoken-word albums, poetry, plays and children's books.

Seventy-six-year-old Lear was creator, producer and writer for television series that became cultural landmarks including "All in the Family," "Sanford and Son," "The Jeffersons" and "Maude." In 1967, he earned an Academy Award nomination for writing Divorce, American Style. In 1982, he founded the advocacy group People for the American Way.

The award named for the famed opera singer honors artists whose leadership benefits humanity and includes a $100,000 honorarium.

Past winners include: Richard Gere; Sidney Poitier; Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis; Oprah Winfrey; Danny Glover; Quincy Jones; Dame Elizabeth Taylor; Gregory Peck and Harry Belafonte.

The award will be bestowed at the Kimmel Center on November 17th.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)

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