Established during its Bicentennial celebration in 2000, the Library of Congress’ “Living Legend” honor is awarded by the Library’s curators and subject specialists to honor artists, writers, activists, filmmakers, physicians, entertainers, sports figures and public servants who have “made significant contributions to America’s diverse cultural, scientific and social heritage. The professional accomplishments of the Living Legends have enabled them to provide examples of personal excellence that have benefited others and enriched the nation in a variety of ways.”
The honorees display a broad range of talents: civil rights leader and Congressman John Lewis, economist and diplomat John Kenneth Galbraith, diplomat George Kennan, evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould, architect I.M. Pei first American woman in space Sally Ride, musicians Johnny Cash, Qunicy Jones, Stephen Sondheim and Yo-Yo Ma; Atlanta Braves’ Hank Aaron and Boston Celtics’ Larry Bird, and entertainers Big Bird, Fred Rogers, Martin Scorsese, Julia Child and Merce Cunningham.
If your curiosity is piqued, the entire list is here. You can click on any name and get a quick bio about the person and related resources at the Library. Some of these related resources include a video transcript of news commentator and author Cokie Roberts at the National Book Festival; a selection of some of the online recordings collected by the folkolorist Alan Lomax and his family; and related to Maurice Sendak, the author and illustrator of children’s books, there is a link to some of the Library’s digitized children’s books. You can actually look at the books (some of which date back to the early 19th century) by turning the pages.
If you prefer an actual hard copy for your information, there is a display of books by and about some of the honorees on the third floor of Syosset Library. Take a look. Get inspired!
-posted by Brenda, Reference Services