Awarded: May 2003
(b. Sept. 21, 1914)
John Werner Kluge is an entrepreneur best known as a television industry mogul. His major move into media was by purchasing stock in the Metropolitan Broadcasting Company in the mid-1950s, which he later gained control of and renamed Metromedia. Kluge then expanded the network with affiliated independent stations. In 1986, he sold Metromedia to Rupert Murdoch of Fox Network for a reported $4 billion. The following year, Forbes Magazine placed Kluge at the top of their list of richest people in America. In celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Library of Congress, Kluge donated $60 million to create the John W. Kluge Center, an academic center where accomplished senior scholars and junior post-doctoral fellows gather to make use of the Library’s collections and interact with members of Congress. In addition, his gift established a $1 million dollar prize given in recognition of a lifetime of achievement in the human sciences, comparable to the Nobel Prizes in literature and economics.