Henry Becton, Jr. Receives Lowell Award
- For Immediate Release on May 14, 2008
Washington, D.C. -- The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) today named former WGBH president Henry Becton, Jr., the recipient of the 2008 Ralph Lowell Award.
The Lowell Award, named for philanthropist, banker and founder of the WGBH Educational Foundation, is public television's most prestigious award. It honors an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to public television.
"Like Ralph Lowell, Henry Becton has displayed a profound commitment to public broadcasting's mission of service to the American people," said Patricia Harrison, CPB President and CEO. "His leadership has influenced all aspects of public service media and has helped to establish public broadcasting as one of the most trusted and important institutions in America."
Becton joined WGBH in 1970 as a producer and in 1974, became Program Manager for Cultural Affairs. Four years later, he was appointed Vice President and General Manager. He was elected President of WGBH in 1984. He stepped down as President in 2007 and is currently Vice Chairman of WGBH.
Under Becton's leadership, WGBH grew in size and stature -- from an organization of 100 employees and no endowment to one with 950 professionals, an annual budget of nearly $200 million and a $63 million endowment. He built the station into a major cultural institution and created a center for creativity and service. Programs developed during his tenure at WGBH encompass some of television and radio's best-known, including: American Experience, Antiques Roadshow, ZOOM, Arthur, Between the Lions, Curious George, Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman, Martha Speaks, Greater Boston, Masterpiece Theatre, Frontline, Frontline/World, Mystery!, This Old House, The New Yankee Workshop, NOVA, NOVA ScienceNOW, The Victory Garden, From the Top, Gourmet's Diary of a Foodie and Simply Ming, as well as radio's The World and Sound & Spirit.
Becton is a former member of the PBS Board of Directors and a founding director of American Documentary, Inc. Currently, he is Vice Chairman of the Association of Public Television Stations, a director of Public Radio International and a board member of the PBS Foundation.
Henry Becton has a law degree from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree in American Studies from Yale University. At Yale, he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and served as Chairman of the Yale Broadcasting Corporation.
The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967, is the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operations of more than 1,300 locally-owned and -operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.
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