National Press Club

Thomas Friedman to Receive NPC Fourth Estate Award

October 12, 2009

Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman

Thomas Friedman, the ground-breaking New York Times foreign affairs columnist and author, will receive the 2009 Fourth Estate Award, the National Press Club's highest honor.

The award is bestowed annually to an individual who has achieved distinction for a lifetime of contributions to American journalism. And that’s just what Friedman, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner and author of best-selling books such as “Flat, Hot and Crowded,” has done, said Donna Leinwand, NPC president.

“Tom Friedman has a passion for journalism that shows in his reporting and writing,” Leinwand said. “He has traveled thousands of miles and asked thousands of questions to bring us balanced and smart stories from around the world."

Friedman joined the New York Times as a financial reporter in 1981. A year later, he covered the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, winning his first Pulitzer for his work. Friedman also won a Pulitzer for his coverage of the first Palestinian intifada before becoming a Times columnist in 1995.

He won his third Pulitzer, for commentary, in 2002, as the Pulitzer board honored him for "for his clarity of vision, based on extensive reporting, in commenting on the worldwide impact of the terrorist threat."

In addition, through books such as “The Lexus and the Olive Tree” and “The World Is Flat,” Friedman changed the way his readers view the world, Leinwand said.

“Tom Friedman has taken his readers along on hundreds of journeys,” she said. “He explains complex political and economic events with clarity and grace.”

The Club will honor Friedman, the 37th winner of the Fourth Estate Award, with a gala dinner on Friday, Nov. `3. Tickets can be purchased by calling (202) 662-7501.

For members, tickets are $95 for the general reception and dinner, or $150 for the deluxe package, which includes admittance to the VIP reception, a gift bag and dinner. Members can also buy one guest ticket at the member price.

Ticket sales will be open for NPC members only through July 15, at which point tickets will go on sale for the general public as well as NPC members.

For non-members, tickets are $150 for the general reception and dinner, or $200 for the deluxe package, which includes admittance to the VIP reception, a gift bag and dinner.

Proceeds will benefit the Club’s Eric Friedheim National Journalism Library and its training programs.