For this month’s famous award, and in the spirit of all the brotherly love following the Papal Visit, we’ve decided to keep things local by writing about the Philadelphia Award, a city-based, but nonetheless prestigious, award given out to the most distinguished Philadelphians for over 90 years.
The Philadelphia Award was founded by Edward William Bok in 1921; after making his fortune in the burgeoning publishing industry, Bok started working towards the institution of progressive social movements, such as public sex education, prenatal education, childcare, environmental activism and more. He spent his time as a philanthropist working to improve society through both political action and the arts. The Philadelphia Award was intended for those who encapsulated his idea of model citizens by working to serve others and improve their surroundings.
The historic winners of the Philadelphia Award are given what has been referred to as the “Nobel Prize of Philadelphia,” and join over 80 other accomplished individuals in receiving the honor. Every year, nominees are selected based on their contribution towards the greater good of their community – the winner is the citizen who, during the preceding year, “acted and served on behalf of the best interests of their community.”
Industrialists, social activists, doctors, educators, lawyers, politicians, scientists, religious leaders, philosophers, artists and architects are listed among those who have received this award, which is given by a Board of Trustees, along with $25,000.
The Philadelphia award does indeed resemble the Nobel Prize, at least in that it is a relatively simple medal cast with simple information. The medal features the title of the award, date of its founding and image of a presumably famous native Philadelphian (at the time of the publication of this article, the name of this Philadelphian was regrettably not available online – though we welcome any of our readers who know to chime in in the comments section!)
To create your own medal for an honor-deserving friend, family member, loved one or colleague, consult with the experts at Spike’s!