Ralph Lowell Award

The Ralph Lowell Medal

Lowell Award

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting recognizes outstanding contributions and achievements to public television by presenting the Ralph Lowell medal.  

Ralph Lowell was a Boston philanthropist and banker and founder of the WGBH Educational Foundation, licensee of WGBH-TV, serving as its first president from 1951 until he became chairman in the mid-1970s. He was instrumental in the formation of the Carnegie Commission on Educational Television, which led to the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967 and the establishment of CPB. Lowell was chairman of the board of directors of the National Educational Television and Radio Center during its formative years.

The Ralph Lowell Award was created by the Lowell family in 1970 to commemorate the pioneer public broadcaster's 80th birthday. CPB presents the award on behalf of the Lowell family.

 

2016

Jennifer Lawson

Senior Vice President, Television and Digital Video Content, CPB
PBS’ First Chief Programming Executive
» Jennifer Lawson's Acceptance Remarks
» Press release

2011*

Rebecca Eaton

Executive Producer, MASTERPIECE!
» Press release

2010*

Earl Blumenauer

U.S. Congressman, Oregon
» Press release

2009*

David Fanning

Executive Producer and Founder, FRONTLINE

2008*

Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University
Director, W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research
» Press release

2007*

Henry Becton, Jr.

Former President and General Manager, WGBH, Boston
» Press release

2006*

Mary G.F. Bitterman

Veteran public television executive
Chair, PBS Board of Directors
» Press release

2005*

Frederick L. DeMarco

Executive Vice President, CPB
» Press release

2004*

Maynard Orme

President and CEO, Oregon Public Broadcasting

2002*

Ted Stevens

U.S. Senator, Alaska
» Press release

2001*

Peter S. McGhee

Vice President for National Programming, WGBH Educational Foundation, Boston
» Press release

2000*

David J. Brugger

Former President and CEO, Association of America's Public Television Stations (APTS)
» Press release

1999*

Thad Cochran

U.S. Senator, Mississippi

Edward M. Kennedy

U.S. Senator, Massachusetts
» Press release

1998

Julia Child

Host, The French Chef and other public TV series
» Press release

1997

Jac Venza

Director of Cultural and Arts Programs, WNET/New York
Executive Producer, Great Performances

1996

Elizabeth Pfohl Campbell

Former President, WETA/Washington, D.C., and Vice President for Community Affairs
» Press release

1995

Ken Burns

Documentary filmmaker

1994

Bruce Christensen

Former President, PBS

1993

Henry Hampton

President, Blackside, Inc.

1992

Chalmers H. Marquis

Former Public Television Representative to Congress

1991

Alistair Cooke

Host and Narrator, Masterpiece Theatre, WGBH

1990

Ward B. Chamberlin, Jr.

Former President and CEO, WETA/FM-TV, Washington, DC

1989

Robert MacNeil and Jim Lehrer

Co-anchors, The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour

1988

Ernest F. Hollings

U.S. Senator, South Carolina

1987

Sharon Percy Rockefeller

Former Board Chair, CPB

1986

Barry M. Goldwater

Former U.S. Senator, Arizona

1985

David O. Ives

Vice chairman, Board of Trustees
Former President. WGBH Educational Foundation, Boston

1984

Lawrence K. Grossman

Former President, PBS

1983

Walter H. Annenberg

Founder, The Annenberg/CPB Project

1982

Newton N. Minow

Former PBS Board Chairman

1981

Fred W. Friendly

Former Communications Adviser, Ford Foundation

1980

Warren G. Magnuson

Former U.S. Senator, Washington

1979

James A. Fellows

Former President, National Association of Educational Broadcasters

1978

Ralph Rogers

Former Board Chairman, PBS

1977

John O. Pastore

Former U.S. Senator, Rhode Island

1976

James R. Killian, Jr.

Former Board Chairman, CPB

1975

Fred Rogers

Creator and Host, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

1974

Bill Moyers

Journalist and producer

1973

Hartford N. Gunn, Jr.

First PBS President

1972

Jonathan Rice

Former Director of Programming, KQED-TV

1971

Joan Ganz Cooney

Founder and President, Children's Television Workshop

*Award presented in the following year